It is now fashionable for fifth columnists and self-acclaimed experts to engage in revisionism, blackmail and sheer distortion of facts to achieve their evil design of ingratiating themselves to the powers that be. How can one describe a mischievous and libelous write-up by one Akinsola Alonge titled: “How to Replicate El-Rufai’s Zeal in FCT Administration” which was recently published in one of the national dailies. In the said write-up, Mr. Alonge disparaged the incumbent FCT Minister and his principal officers, alleging of a reckless distortion of the FCT Master Plan, urging him to dismantle the shameful legacies of the immediate past FCT administration.
While we recognize Alonge’s right to freedom of speech, we abhor his flagrant disobedience to decorum and decency in his choice of words. It is the likes of jaundiced, opinionated individuals like Alonge that would not acknowledge the laudable achievements of the immediate past FCT administration despite the obvious challenges of paucity of funds.
Abuja is the fastest growing federal capital in the world with the attendant pressure on infrastructure like roads, pipe-borne water supply, accommodation and the rest. The past administration brought transparency in land administration by instituting the Senator Dansadau committee which brought transparency in land allocation and administration in the FCT which hitherto was fraught with abuse and corruption.
In order to curry favour, Mr. Alonge dropped the names of a certain (self-acclaimed, anti-corruption) senator now entrusted with oversight functions. One can see the voice of Esau and the hand of Jacob as the so-called legislator has been allegedly arm twisting the top echelon of the FCT administration since he acquired the headship of the senate committee on the FCT.
It is always smart for our compatriots to compare Nigeria with advanced countries. How can Alonge compare Abuja with Johannesburg that has existed for over 200years. Senator Bala Mohammed, the former FCT Minister faced the onerous challenges of addressing the twin issues of population explosion and the increasing inadequacy of funds to tackle Abuja’s infrastructure deficits.
This challenge led to the adoption of the land swap model of infrastructural development financing. The policy involved the granting of land to competent real estate developers who in turn provided infrastructure such as standard road, electricity facilities, portable water, drainage and sewer lines without any financial implication to the government.
For Alonge to allege that the FCT administration is engaged in questionable land allocation in ludicrous and libelous. It is without proof, the Abuja Geographic Information System has brought sanity and transparency to land administration in the FCT.
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, as FCT Minister seeing the lack of capacity by the FCT administration to maintain green areas started allocating the green areas to individuals with the belief that the allotees would be able to maintain them.
Sadly these individuals converted the green areas to commercial use. To solve this problem, the immediate past administration set-up a committee headed by the former director-general of the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission, Otunba Segun Runsewe who gladly solved the problem. As President Muhammadu Buhari consolidates the gains of the previous FCT administration, we urge him not to be swayed by the selfish and callous propaganda by self-seeking professionals bent on feathering their nest at the expense of the public good.
Uche Okoronkwo is a Public Affairs Analyst.