After months of waiting, elected council chairmen in the Federal Capital Territory have been sworn in to office on Tuesday.
The six area council chairmen were sworn in by Justice Suleiman Belgore, on behalf of the FCT Chief Judge, at the Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Center, Abuja.
The FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, congratulated and urged them to offer qualitative services in the areas of health, education, security, and sanitation.
“If I were you, I would go for the basics. I will tackle primary education, I will tackle primary healthcare, I will tackle sanitation, and I will tackle insecurity.
“And whoever you are, you can’t do anything about the security of your community unless you relate with your elders in the country. So, hold on to these three or four items diligently and understand that you are a local government authority and you are meant to provide local services”.
The Minister added, “During your tenure, don’t ever allow one day to pass with your pupils out of school because somebody is on strike… Don’t ever allow a primary healthcare in your Area Council to be without water, to be without electricity, to be without staff, so that that woman who is pregnant, or that little boy who has diarrhea or that young girl that has malaria is taken care of. I tell you, if you handle these little things that you may think are small, your people will forever be grateful to you”.
He enjoined the new chairmen and vice chairmen to go round their area councils with a view to familiarizing themselves with the various environmental challenges such as blocked drainages, waste and unkept streets.
Bello further urged them to stay true to the oath they swore to and remember that God is watching them.
He said, “I urge you all to go back to your houses, carefully read and understand what you swore, because all of you, I noticed, held the holy books while you were doing so.
“These words that you uttered today holding the holy books and also in the presence of all of us as witnesses and above all in the presence of God Almighty, are not simple words”, the minister added.
He assured the newly inaugurated Chairmen of the continuous support of the FCT Administration while also charging residents to always hold those in authority accountable for what they swore to do.
The new Chairmen are Hon. Christopher Zakka Maikalangu of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. John S. Gabaya of Bwari, Hon. Danladi Chiya of Kwali, Hon. Abubakar Umar Abdullahi of Abaji, Hon. Abdullahi Sulaiman Sabo of Kuje, Hon. Abubakar Jibrin Giri of Gwagwalada.
The ceremony had in attendance community, religious and traditional leaders in the FCT including Hon. Micah Jiba, House member representing AMAC Bwari Federal Constituency, the Onah of Abaji, Chief of staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Borno, the FCT Chairmen of the APC and PDP, senior officials of the FCTA led by the Permanent Secretary Mr Olusade Adesola and other dignitaries.
Recall that the FCT High Court had initially stopped the inauguration of the chairmen before the same court vacated the order last week, paving the way for their swearing in.