The six  area councils in the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] could be said to be among the few local government areas in Nigeria that enjoy full autonomy in terms of allocation of funds on monthly basis from the federation account. Every Nigerian is aware of interference by sitting governors on the funds of local government authorities. Even in some states governors cronies are at the saddle as caretaker Local Government Chairmen. The meddling of sitting governors in the management of local government funds has ensured that development at local level in so many States in Nigeria is at best, stunted
According to watchers of events in the council, since 2010 when the current Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council [AMAC] Honourable Micah Yohanna Jiba came to the power, rapid development has taken place in twelve  wards that make up the council. They attributed the developmental feat recorded by Jiba so far in the twelve wards to two factors. In the first place, the honest and prompt release of funds meant for AMAC development to the Chairman on monthly basis by the Minister of the FCT Senator Bala Mohammed. Secondly, the burning hunger to serve the people of AMAC on the part of Honourable Micah Jiba, and his religious adherence to the principle of accountability in the management of public funds in his care. Micah’s prudence in fund management is perhaps the greatest reason Nigerians in AMAC have seen giant strides in the council, with respect to the twelve wards that constitute AMAC.
The list of Micah Jiba’s developmental efforts in the municipality in the first term of his chairmanship is contained in a document called “The Footprint of Micah Jiba in AMAC”. One fact about the document in question is that it was heavily interrogated by stakeholders in AMAC development and found to be genuine; though critics are of the view that they are yet to see updated copy of the Footprint Magazine under Micah’s second term in office. Among those that cross-examined the document are the Press and Opposition political parties in the Federal Capital Territory [FCT]. The cross-examination of Jiba’s developmental effort by the press in particular did not end with book presentation; there were sites visitation for confirmation. What transpired later in the primary election that brought Micah back to power for a second term in office; proved that the contents in the Footprint document was not a mere Photoshop as Hon. Jiba was returned unopposed in the primary election of his party, PDP.
Before the documentation of Hon. Micah Jiba’s developmental efforts in AMAC, there was plethora of testimonials by witnesses to his works. Few of these testimonies will suffice here. Former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bello Haliru has this to say on Micah Jiba’s effort: “I wish to commend the Hon. Chairman, for providing social infrastructure for the grass root people .In-fact I cannot believe that this road [new Jikwoyi Township/ access road] was constructed by a local government. This is a project most state governments do and invite us to commission. I am proud that this is done by a PDP government and the people are happy”. Here are remarks by the Hon. Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed on Jiba’s achievements in office: “our gathering here today is to rejoice and celebrate an achiever who has come to serve his people, who has something to show within first 100 days in office, especially, those who voted for him, that their trust was not in vain after all”……. “Hon. Jibas achievements have cut across the nook and crannies of AMAC. As a leader who has the fear of God, no community will be neglected irrespective of political differences. I am meant to understand that the list of projects Hon. Jiba has completed are capable of developing the Area Council and making the people have a better life”….
On his part, the former Minister of State for FCT, Group Captain Caleb Olubolade has this testimony to make on Jiba’s developmental efforts in AMAC: …I will commission these projects today, so that we can achieve environmental cleanliness in FCT, in AMAC in particular. …everybody should maintain the market so that it will not be an eye sore”—. On the other hand, Senator Philip Aduda representing FCT has this to say on Micah Jiba’s developmental effort in the council: “… we found out within 100 days of the chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council in office , he has been able to carry out these laudable projects we can all see them ourselves. This is what is called dividends of democracy. By the grace of God, we can look at him after one or two years and say we are giving him more support to carry on with the good work that he is doing”….
Just recently the Honorable member representing AMAC and Bwari Federal constituency in FCT at the National Assembly [NASS] Mr. Zephaniah Jisalo, expressed readiness to vacate his position for Micah Jiba to take over. Jisalo premised his call on Jiba to take over from him, on the laudable achievements Micah has recorded in AMAC. Jisalo believed that the way Micah is going about his developmental activities in AMAC; he would have left an indelible mark in the council in 2016, when he would have completed his second term in office. This, according to Jisalo would have made Jiba an undisputed material for House of Representative seat for AMAC/Bwari area councils, which he, Jisalo is ever ready to vacate for Senatorial contest. Hon. Jisalo’s willingness to abdicate his current office for Jiba is probably the first time such scenario is playing in Nigeria since 1999 when democratic regime resumed.
With about two years to the end of his second term in office, Hon. Micah Jiba appeared to have prepared himself for bigger political challenges ahead. The eloquent testimonials on his developmental strides in AMAC from critical stakeholders in the council have inevitably made a powerful point here; only Hon. Micah Jiba can constitute an obstacle to himself from moving FORWARD TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
Information Management Consultant & Political Researcher
Wrote in from Garki Abuja.