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Friday, April 19, 2024

Is Nyesom Wike’s Infrastructure Delivery Template in Rivers State, Shaping Development in FCT Area Councils’?



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In truth, not many Nigerians gave Nyesom Wike chance of becoming the best Governor of Class 2015, not to talk of becoming the best Governor in infrastructural delivery in Nigeria; but he effortlessly achieved the feat anyway. His achievements in Rivers state would have been disputed if the October 21, 2022 Distinguished Award in Infrastructure Delivery was not given to him by the party in power. For APC government in power, to consider a Governor from opposition party for such exalted honour at Nigerian Excellence in Public Service Award, indeed, speaks volumes of Nyesom Wike’s developmental strides in Rivers State.

Going down memory lane, Nigerians will recall that Wike’s superlative performance, prompted the then Presidency to dispatch a letter, intimating Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as he then was, of the award presentation. It reads: “Since his assumption of Office on May 29, 2015, Governor Wike has been widely acclaimed for his infrastructural revolution, which has seen him impacting on all facets of development.

“With giant strides in road construction and rehabilitation; construction of unprecedented 12 flyovers in the state, healthcare Infrastructure; education, health, sports, agriculture, among others, Wike is fondly called Mr. Projects by many Nigerians. “He has vowed not to rest on his oars until his last day in office. “The only way we can show gratitude to the people for the confidence reposed in us by the people is to continue to serve them with all our hearts and might. I will continue to commission projects until the last day. We can’t stop.

”We were elected to serve the people. We will continue to offer quality services to our people. Even our worst critics will agree that we have delivered excellently on our campaign promises. By God’s grace we will finish strong and our incoming governor, Siminalayi Fubara, will continue in our legacy of quality service to our people.

Probably delighted with Wike’s achievements in Rivers State, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) wasted no time in appointing him the minister of FCT on August 16, 2023. Wike has since then swung into action in FCT. The minister’s leadership quality came into action when he brought all the stakeholders in the construction of the second runway to discuss on how the construction will go on without problems. Unlike in the past when compensation will either not be paid or paid to those not entitled to it, Wike-led FCT administration, promised to ensure justice in payment of compensation to owners of houses and economic trees affected by the second runway construction.

Reports emanating from Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) indicate that Nyesom Wike leadership has embarked on surgical work at the ministry aimed at repositioning it for efficiency and effectiveness. To this end, shanties that harbored criminals in the past in FCT are giving way. Under Wike’s watch, the menace of One Chance and other criminal activities in FCT are being systematically tackled.

With barely six (6) months in office, Wike appears to have set FCTA in motion towards real development and growth, but many in FCT believe that the poor have not been well accommodated in the past. A situation where Abuja is treated as a place for only the privileged class may not be ideal for the Unity of the country. This writer will like to urge Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to improve on the foot-step of Nasir El-Rufai in accommodating the poor in FCT. When El-Rufai was the minister of FCT, he compensated and relocated the poor affected by his demolition exercise in the city. For instance, many poor Nigerians were relocated to Pegi, in Kuje Area Council. Not only were these Nigerians were given alternative permanent lands in Kuje, FCT Administration under El-Rufai, introduced mass transport system that made staying away from the city center, attractive, as one can access anywhere in FCT by paying pocket friendly fare.

Spurred by Nyesom Wike’s unparalleled developmental strides in Rivers State and the continuation of Rivers feat in FCT, many executive office holders (Chairmen of Area Councils’) have come to use his achievements as barometer, in measuring their own performances. The Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon Christopher Zakka Maikalangu, has openly declared that he is Emulating Nyesom Wike as Mr. Project in his domain, AMAC. Recall that Mr. Project is the title given to Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON) then in Rivers state, by APC-led federal government. Based on calculation of experts in AMAC, Honourable Christopher Zakka Maikalangu has constructed an average of four (4) kilometer of link road in each of the Twelve 12 Wards that make up AMAC within a space of just one and half (1.5) years in office. He has also done well in the areas of: Health and Health Care provision, Education, Agriculture, and Rural Solar Electrification among others. One can say without sounding patronizing, that most, if not all the Area Council Chairmen in FCT, are assimilating Wike’s leadership qualities in the area of infrastructure delivery.

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Another Area Council Chairman, John Gabaya of Bwari Area Council, has via his body language, indicated that he too, is emulating Mr. Project of Nigeria, Honorable Minister of FCT, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. John Gabaya has also constructed link roads in the Ten Wards of Bwari Area Council. He has dug Boreholes in many communities in his Area Council. The high quality drinking water from the boreholes is testimony of Gabaya’s developmental effort in the Council. Health Sector has received and is still receiving attention under his watch in the council. Agricultural Sector is not left out in the scheme of things in the Council. Rural Solar Electrification, in particular, has been the major priority of Hon John Gabaya. On empowerment, Bwari Area Council under John Gabaya has received special attention. He has empowered the youths and people living with disability in the Council. Although, Honourable John Gabaya has not said he is emulating Wike, but many Nigerians in Bwari Area Council are applauding his developmental strides on that corridor.

In Kwali Area Council, Honourable Danladi Chiya, has by his developmental strides in his Council, indicated that he wants to join the club of Mr. Project via the projects he is executing in Kwali Area Council. Like Maikalangu and Gabaya, Chiya has done well in provision of link roads in the Ten Wards in the Council. He has done well in making water via Borehole available in many communities in the Council. Solar powered Electrification is not left out in his calculation too. Being mainly agrarian Council, Chiya is said to have taken special interest in Agriculture in Kwali Area Council. To this end, the Council priorities the timely provision of fertilizer to farmers in the Area Council.

The development of Fruits and Yam market in the Council, attests to this fact of the Councils interest in Agriculture. Chiya is doing well in the area of Health Care provision, according to report. Chiya is probably the most ICT compliant Chairman in FCT. Recently, Chiya unveiled e-site to encourage citizens’ engagement. This is an advanced Town-hull engagement. By this, Youths in the Council will utilize the e-site to call for what they need or ventilate their grievances with Chiya’s administration, if any. Another sure benefit of this wonderful e-site engagement to Chiya’s government is that it encourages open government, and because of the in-built feedback mechanism in it, rapid response to issues of governance and development, will be witnessed in the Council. This e-site innovation in governance from Kwali, is hereby proposed for the remaining Area Councils in FCT.

Another Area Council Chairman that is doing very well in the area of road provision is Alhaji Abdullahi Suleiman Sabo of Kuje Area Council. He is currently opening up link roads in his Area Council. Many Nigerians in Kuje have given thumb up to his effort in road construction and rehabilitation. He is also receiving kudos for opening up Kuje for massive development. He is also said to be given Agriculture priority in the Council. On Education, Hon Abdullahi Sabo has done quite well, according to Area Councils’ Barometer Of Good Governance (ACBOGG) findings. It may interests Nigerians to know that ACBOGG was formed in FCT after February 25, 2023 presidential and NASS elections where many Senators and House of Representatives members that have done well in terms of representations, lost because of bandwagon effect. ACBOGG is made up of; media practitioners, Civil Society Organizations, as well as well meaning Nigerians that believe politicians should not climb on the back someone’s integrity to win election. They should win on the basis of their potential or actual track records. For instance, many Senators and House of Reps members in Labour Party, won on account of Obidient Movement, and not necessarily on account of their acceptability. Thus, ACBOGG came up to tell Nigerians as it is in FCT, and project elected office holders in FCT that have, and still providing democracy dividends to their people.

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Still on evaluation of Area Councils performance in FCT, Abaji Council’s Chairman, Hon. Abubakar Umar Abdullahi, who doubles as the ALGON Chairman, according to findings, is doing extremely well in Abaji. He too, has given road construction and rehabilitation priority in the council. Many roads in the council have either been rehabilitated or constructed. Worthy of note here is the construction of 5 kilometer road from Agyana to Nanda community. So strategic is the road that seeks to massively business activity along this corridor. He is said to doing well in Education and Health. AUA as he is fondly called, recently released N30m to LEA for the payment of promotion arrears as part of strategy of maintaining harmony in education sector in the Council. On Agriculture, Hon Abubakar places emphasis on timely provision of fertilizer to farmers in Council. And this has gone a long way in ensuring food production in the Council. Hon. Abubakar-led Council has done well too, in Solar Powered Electrification in many wards in the Council. Many youths in the Council have also been empowered in one skill or the other, under Hon. Abubakar’s leadership. Although, Hon. Abubakar  Umar Abdullahi has not formally declared that he too, is emulating Mr. Project, Honourable Minister of FCT, barrister Nyesom Wike, in Abaji, but his body language point in that direction.

Gwagwalada Area Council Chairman, Hon. Abubakar Jibrin Giri is one person that has done very, very well in terms of providing democracy dividends in his Area Council. Report has as it that he has opened up Gwagwalada Area Council for massive development, through link road construction and rehabilitation. Hon. Giri has undertaken massive empowerment programmes for the youths in his Council. Under Giri’s current Chairmanship in Gwagwalada Council, Health care delivery occupied center stage. He is also doing well in the provision of Education in the Council. Agric sector is said to be doing well in Gwagwalada Area Council, as Hon Giri accords high priority to the sector due to the agrarian nature of the Council. Borehole provision in the Council has received deserved attention under Hon Giri. Only recently, the Chairman commissioned Borehole in Gwako1, to the admiration of the community. Many communities in the Council have benefited from Giri’s massive clean water initiative. The list of Giri’s projects is huge, but one that is worthy of note here is the construction of Anguwan Azare road in Gwagwalada central Ward because of its strategic importance. Though, Hon Giri has not also said he is emulating Mr Project in Nigeria, Nyesom Wike, but we can deduce it from his work in Gwagwalada Area Council, for sure.

In all of these, one can say without hesitation, that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) did not make mistake in appointing Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as FCT Minister. Via body language, it appears the six (6) Area Councils’ Chairmen have doubled effort in providing democracy dividends in their respective Area Councils’, it appears contagious effect of Mr. Project influence is playing a huge role, or so this writer thinks.

Emeka Oraetoka

Information/ Perception Management Consultant and Researcher.

He also doubles as Chancellor of: Area Councils’ Barometer Of Good Governance (ACBOGG)

Wrote in from Abuja.


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