Good Governance Barometer: Has Maikalangu Lived Up to Expectation In AMAC?



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June 14, 2023, marked exactly one year (1) since Honourable Christopher Zakka Maikalangu was sworn in as the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). In the period under review, can Maikalangu say, “I have lived up to expectation”, good governance wise? And what are good governance indicators? Who is evaluating or should examine him?

Honestly, there are many good governance barometers that can be deployed to evaluate the performance of an Area Council Chairman in FCT. The first and most important set of indicators are: Agriculture, Health, Empowerment, Works, Water Resources, Alternative electricity supply, Security, and Education sectors. Now, on case by case basis, has Maikalangu done well on Works in the period under review? This writer was told of link up roads that have either been completed or ongoing in AMAC under Maikalangu. My first reaction was that it could be Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) that constructed or constructing the roads in question in the Council. In the end, it was confirmed that the ongoing road projects in question are being executed by AMAC and not FCTA as erroneously thought.

Anyone in FCT that is familiar with Gudu District will surely know a popular market called Gudu Market. Maikalangu-led AMAC has constructed about Five (5) kilometer access road in Damagaza, behind Gudu market. Nigerians on that corridor are said to be wearing smile as a result of the construction of this vital link road. As one reporter in Abuja puts it, “this one is verifiable because I am living in Damagaza”. Another AMAC inspired link road construction is ongoing in Kabusa ward. Nigerians living along Kabusa corridor can confirm this fact. That too, is about Four (4) kilometer stretch. Nigerians living in Idu Gbagyi Phase 2, can easily confirm that about Five (5) kilometer link road is under construction and it is nearing completion at that corridor. The Karmo Idu Gbagyi phase 1, road construction is also ongoing as well. This too, is verifiable. In Gwagwa, the story is the same as far as road construction is concerned. Those Nigerians living along Gwagwa corridor can confirm this fact as well. In Orozo, the story of road

The story of inspection of road construction took the Honourable Chairman to Wumba, Dutse, Gwagwa and Idu communities on 16th May 2023, where he vowed to complete ongoing road projects on schedule. As we speak, the road projects in the aforementioned communities have been completed. One remarkable event took place in a community called Gyadna. The community now enjoys light after 100 years in darkness. Under Maikalangu’s light up AMAC projects was the commissioning of a world class solar powered borehole in Jiwa on July 16, 2023. One interesting slogan that is fast gaining traction under Maikalangu- led AMAC is, “go and verify” apparently telling journalists and the good people of AMAC that Maikalagu’s achievements so far are verifiable. And that the projects in question are not on paper, but solidly on ground. On July 5, 2023, Maikalagu toured Jikwoyi Phase 1 and 2, and later paid a visit to Jikwoyi’s chief, in his palace, in preparation to flag-off road construction on that corridor. As at today, work is near completion there.

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It is instructive that Maikalangu has done well in the area of providing and boosting power supply in rural communities of AMAC. Only recently, he increased deployment of mini-grids to some wards, towards this end. Among the communities that benefited from this is: Gidan Kwanu in Karshi ward, and this was in response to the recent removal of fuel subsidy, as a couching measure. According to information, other communities will benefit as well.

On health sector, remarkable milestone has been attained by Honourable Maikalangu. A giant Primary Health Care Center in Kapwa in Kabusa ward is near completion. Again, it is verifiable. Also, AMAC residents have benefited from Honourable Maikalagu’s medical outreach. Residents of Kurudu and Lugbe were the first set of people to enjoy the medical outreach. AMAC response to Diptera outbreak in Tungan Wakili community of Gui ward, in collaboration with WHO has been commended.

Agriculture has not taken back bench in Honourable Maikalangu led AMAC, in the last one year. On July 14, 2023, the Chairman demonstrated the importance his administration attaches to agriculture when he takes agricultural inputs to farmers in rural areas. Maikalangu distributed fertilizer to Farmers in Takalafiya 1and 2, Burum, Saburi and other communities. Aware of the security problem facing farmers, he tasked traditional rulers on taking the lead in providing security; he also planned monthly stipends for vigilante groups in these communities. One good thing is that the 12 wards that make up AMAC were given agricultural inputs. He however, urged the farmers not to sell the inputs given to them. With over 200NPK fertilizer available to farmers in AMAC communities, it is expected that the council will reap the benefit by way of bountiful harvest. This writer will like to advice Maikalangu-led AMAC to consider the idea of irrigation to encourage all round farming in the Council. This will further boost food production in AMAC.

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On Empowerment programmes, AMAC under Maikalagu appears to have lived up to expectations with targeted empowerment programmes, one year on. July 13, 2023, will remain indelible in the minds of people living with disabilities as they were empowered with sewing machines, Tricycles, Wheel Chairs others to People living with disability. Not less than 20 sewing machines, 12 wheelchairs and tricycles, 30 crouches, 12 air pressure machines were given out.

Although, this writer is yet to confirm dividend accruing to Wuse, Garki, City Center and Gwarinpa wards in the period under review. The highly urbanised nature of these wards maybe the reason access or link road projects were not seen in these areas.

In a nutshell, Honourable Christopher Zakka Maikalangu has lived up to expectation in terms of provision of democracy dividend, by the standard of Area Councils’ Barometer Of Good Governance (ACBGG). But in truth, one commendable and outstanding fact is uniform distribution of impactful projects in the eight (8) wards in AMAC. Unlike most Nigerian politicians, Garki ward where Maikalangu comes from, would have been give preferential treatment in terms of democracy dividend. If we are to go by Maikalangu’s pace in delivering this vital dividend of democracy, the next three (3) years will witness even more impactful projects in the twelve 12 wards of the Council.

Emeka Oraetoka is Chancellor of

Area Councils’ Barometer Of Good Governance (ACBGG),

A Civil Society Organisation (CSO) based in FCT.

He writes from Abuja.

09039094636, 08056031187.

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