•Admits he wasn’t in Abuja to fly political banners
vows to uphold local planning regulations and put an end to open grazing
Nyesom Wike, a recently sworn-in minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), revealed how PDP governors nominated 10 ministers to President Bola Tinubu for consideration yesterday.
If it turned out that the PDP national secretariat lacked a Certificate of Occupancy, Wike said he would not hesitate to tear it down and that he would not be biased in punishing anyone who broke current municipal planning regulations.
“I don’t give a damn about how you feel or where you’re from; my job is to see that Abuja gets to where it needs to be. I’m come to change Abuja. I am going to carry out the task I have been brought here to complete.
Did PDP governors not write to Mr. President pleading for the appointment of some people when they claimed that PDP would punish me for making appointments? The 36 state governors were requested by the president to suggest candidates for appointment. Ten people were proposed by the PDP governors in a letter, he said.
Wike further stated that he had not traveled to Abuja to raise any political party’s flag.
The minister, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), responded to inquiries on whether he would fly the national flag, the flag of his party, or the flag of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at his first press conference.
“Why should it matter which party flag I will be flying to anyone? Bring the PDP flag, and I will fly it, as well as the Labour Party banner. You believe that because the FCT is in this state, people care about the party flag I fly? I’ll fly the Nigerian flag and make sure the FCT fulfills the founding fathers’ aspirations.
“We’ll return FCT to its rightful position. There have been numerous complaints that this is not the FCT of the founders. The issue of insecurity must be addressed. People should travel to FCT for vacations.
Wike, who spoke extensively about his platform, also promised to reinstate the city’s master plan. He added that land allocators who had been issued Certificates of Occupancy but failed to develop their plots would also lose their land to make way for those who were prepared to build.
“It will go down if you know you have built where you are not supposed to build,” he remarked.
Additionally, he outlined a 10-point program, emphasizing security, city cleaning, maintaining the Abuja Master Plan, infrastructure development, restoring green spaces, removing shanties, plugging income leaks, and paying ground rents, among other things.
He forewarned that the administration, under his direction, would not accept security agencies’ explanations because they would be given the equipment they needed to do their jobs.
Wike commented on the urban environment of the city by saying, “Abuja has become a slum city. With trash all over, sanitation is poor. We won’t stand for that and will investigate the problems with waste disposal.
“Sorry, but if you build on a green space, it will disappear. We shall cancel the land allocations of individuals who declined to develop them and reassign them to people who are prepared to do so. We won’t remind those who don’t pay ground rent to do so, but I won’t grow weary of writing revocation notifications.
“The government will seize unfinished structures that have served as a sanctuary for criminals and put them to good use. The days of land fraud are over. Those that opt for land speculation instead of development will lose their properties.
Time has run out. Cleansing Abuja and making it safe for everyone is the aim.
To address some of these issues, like open grazing, we will consult with stakeholders, the locals, and herdsmen.
“We shall offer substitutes to lessen the suffering of the populace, especially that of those lacking own vehicles.
“Mass transit will be reinstated to increase access to public transportation, so the person in charge of transportation must have a spotless record.
“We will give security agencies the equipment and supplies they need, and after that, we won’t accept any justifications. Results are what we are looking for.