Recently, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, sent a stern warning to hawkers, beggars, prostitutes, okada (commercial motorcycle) riders and other miscreants to steer clear of Abuja city as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) flagged off a massive campaign to rid the nation’s capital of destitution and environmental nuisance that have been posing a serious threat to Abuja master plan.
Unfortunately, in place of hailing the monumental move the minister has made, some fifth columnists that are bent on sabotaging all the efforts to achieve the President’s Transformation Agenda set to work. Some of such people that have found bases in our media houses even went to the extent of writing editorials on the issue.
According to them, it was a question of the minister’s competence, preparedness and capacity that brought about the information gap the minister referred to. If it is that simple, then one can safely conclude that it was the question of the competence of senior editorial members of newspapers that bring about all sorts of mistakes in what they churn out as facts daily.
They also said under the minister’s watch the FCT as a whole had depreciated. Truth is, it is the influx of people that put pressure on available infrastructure in the territory. Even his arch antagonists cannot hide the fact that Bala has succeeded in opening up the Capital City more by creating new districts which are now being provided with modern infrastructure. When these well-thought-out projects are completed, the issue of overburden on the infrastructure in the capital city will be a thing of the past.
In a sane society, the media would have been awash with the praises of the minister for the effort, especially divulging the actual reason that caused the problem. But, the thirst for sabotage and negative intents against whatever good an already hated administration had done, would not allow that, hence, the campaign of calumny.
In place of projecting on what would not benefit the society in any way, those fifth columnists should have feasted on what the Minister outlined as the Task Team’s terms of reference which include identifying all flash points for street hawking/begging, commercial sex workers and other untoward activities in Abuja metropolis for effective pin-down operations; evolving viable options/strategies for effective waste management in the city centre, particularly by enforcing the provisions of the AEPB Act; restricting the operations of tricycles (Keke NAPEP) operators, commercial motorcycles (okada) and other unauthorized commercial vehicles from operating within the Abuja City Centre as well as arresting, detaining and prosecuting road traffic offenders.
Others are removing all shanties and illegal/unplanned developments in the Abuja City Centre; removal of illegal car marts from unauthorized locations in the FCT; carrying out sting operations in hideouts occupied by suspected criminal elements; putting in place necessary strategies to reduce gridlocks and ease traffic flow in the metropolis and mounting massive enlightenment campaign in the print and electronic media on the need for residents to comply with City Management Laws.
Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Arc. Reuben Okoya, holds forte as team deputy chairman. Its members include Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), AlhajiAminuKofarsoro; Director, State Security Services (SSS) in FCT, Mr. John Okojie; FCT Sector Commander Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mrs. Susan Ada Ajenge; Director FCT Road Traffic Services, AlhajiAminuIro; representative of Nigeria Immigration Services, MallamAuta Ibrahim; Director of FCT
Development Control Department, MallamYahaya Yusuf and Special Adviser on Security to FCT Minister, Col. Abdullahi Kudu (rtd).
Others are representatives of Engineering Services, FCDA, Engr. Ben Ukpong; Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA), Mr. OlusegunOlusa; Monitoring & Inspection Department, Mr. Edwin Ugwuanyi; Deputy Director, Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Asmau Abbe Wala; Deputy Director, Corporate Services, Legal Services Secretariat,
Dr. James Agbonhese; Deputy Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mr. UcheAgbanusi and the Abuja Urban Transit Company’s (AUMTCO’s) General Manager in charge of Operations, Mr. S. Ajon. The Deputy Director, Administration in the office of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. U. S. Atang, will serve as Secretary of the Task Team.
To give this effort a legal backing, Senator Mohammed secured the support of the judiciary for the campaign to keep Abuja clean and free of social menace. He said mobile courts would be in place to prosecute arrested offenders, stressing that he was ready with the necessary political will to wage the social battle on a permanent and sustainable basis.
Sarkin Yaki wrote in from Adisa Estate and can be reached on [email protected]