Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, yesterday said he would not be distracted by those protesting against him, saying he is focused on the assignment he has in the FCT.
Wike made these declarations while flagging off the resurfacing of 49 roads in the Asokoro area of Abuja.
The Minister was reacting to a protest on Wednesday by some indigenes of the FCT and a coalition of civil society groups at the National Assembly clamouring for his resignation over land policies, among others, in the federal capital.
In his reaction, Wike said everybody was entitled to their opinion “but what is important is, your opinion must be in line with what is good for FCT.”
“We can’t continue to do the same thing the same way and expect to achieve different results. We have decided to make sure that our people are happy, and we are firm, bold, and courageous with our decision.
“Mr President has given us a mandate to make the people happy, and I assure you, we will do the best for our people as mandated by the President.
“In policy making it may not favour everybody but what is important is the generality of the people, not a few people who benefit at the detriment of others.
“When you bring a policy that will bring change so many will kick against it. When you are focused and firm they have no choice but to align themselves with the policies of government.”
Speaking at the vice president’s residence, Wike said he would not allow tax payer’s money to be wasted after spending N7bn in a contract awarded in 2010.
He said the sponsored protesters were working on emotions and telling lies because it’s not true that this administration awarded the contract.
He said, even if the vice president will not stay there, “What is wrong if we have a visiting head of state or President who is housed there.”
Wike stated that despite the protest, the FCT Administration would continue to take hard decisions that will bring results that will have an impact on the people.
*Flags off resurfacing of 49 roads
The Minister explained that the second phase of the resurfacing after completion will give Abuja a new look.
He said, “Before May 29, 2024 roads in the Federal Capital Territory will wear a new look.
“The current administration led by Bola Tinubu is renewing the hope of the people, these roads will prove that there is hope for residents of Abuja.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of FCDA, Mr Shehu Hadi, said the first phase of the resurfacing which started three months ago in Garki has reached 60 per cent completion.
He said the entire Asokoro District will be covered in this resurfacing exercise, assuring that the resurfacing has a five-month period to deliver on their job.
Also, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Arab Contractors (OAO) Nigeria Limited, Mohammed El Assar, pledged his company’s readiness to deliver quality work.
“We will do our best by giving Abuja residents quality roads in line with the specifications given by the FCT Administration,” he added.
*Abuja natives charge IGP to investigate sponsors of anti-Wike protest
Natives of the Federal Capital Territory yesterday stormed the Nigeria Police headquarters in Area 11 to demand the investigation and prosecution of the group that sponsored the Wednesday protest against the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, at the National Assembly.
The natives under the aegis of the Coalition of FCT Indigenes and Residents, said the rented crowd were not FCT indigenes, noting that they were impersonators whose views did not represent the overall interest of the indigenes and residents of the territory.
Presenting a petition on behalf of the group, the convener, Abuja Natives Advocacy Projects, Yusuf Yunusa who declared FCT indigenes’ support for the FCT Minister called for the immediate investigation and possible prosecution of the organisers of the anti-Wike protest for disturbing the peace of FCT residents.
While expressing the satisfaction of FCT’s original inhabitants with Wike’s Administration, he noted that his impact has been felt even in remote communities of the territory since he assumed office as the minister of FCT.
He appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to set machinery in motion to arrest the rising wave of unlawful protest in the territory as it portends more sinister ploys to topple the legitimate government of the Nigerian people.
The group also called on the Inspector General to ensure that all requests for permission to protest be granted only under the condition that the organisers provide a valid registration from the Corporate Affairs Commission. This requirement, he added will ensure that organisations claiming to represent specific interests are legitimate entities.
He stated, “It has come to our attention that certain individuals claiming to represent the FCT residents, youths and original inhabitants have been orchestrating protests against the Federal Capital Territory Administration, ably led by Nyesom Wike whose appointment was made in line with constitutional provisions by following due process of nomination by the President and Commander-in-Chief and screening by the Senate.
“We believe this action if left unchecked, due to their seeming harmless outlook as their allegations have no basis in form or law, and have hidden agenda that could metamorphose into threatening the peace and security of Abuja.
“We request the Nigeria Police Force to assign a liaison and desk officer to both the genuine and legally recognised Abuja residents’ youth association and Abuja original inhabitants. This will facilitate reliable information sharing for prompt and effective police action.”