FCT residents reel out expectations, priorities from Wike
Nyesom Wike, who recently took office as the Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) head, has made a resounding entrance, particularly in addressing illegal developments.
Wike, previously lauded for his infrastructural prowess as Rivers State governor, has pledged to bulldozed unauthorized structures, sparking mixed reactions.
While his commitment to development is commendable, some caution against an overly draconian approach, urging him to consider the security challenges gripping the FCT and the nation. In light of this, many hope that his priorities will extend beyond displacing Nigerians from their homes.
Wike’s track record as “Mr. Project” during his tenure as Rivers governor has raised expectations for his performance in his new role. This anticipation is especially pronounced given the legacy of Nasir El-Rufai, who is credited with much of the FCT’s infrastructure.
Shehu Sani, a former Kaduna Central Senator, has expressed confidence in Wike’s capabilities, stating that his potential to deliver is beyond doubt.
Beyond physical infrastructure, a dire need exists for improved sanitation across the FCT. Abundant refuse dumps, slums, illegal markets, and parks are prevalent in certain areas of Abuja.
Wike is determined to combat the laissez-faire attitude that has turned Abuja into a sprawling market. He emphasized, “We are not going to tolerate the issue where everywhere is turned to a market… Abuja has turned into a city, with refuse everywhere.”
Local residents are specifically urging Wike to focus on enhancing road networks within their communities. They believe this improvement would greatly enhance the appearance of the FCT.
Comrade Christopher Ikpebi, an FCT native, emphasizes the dire need for urban renewal through better roads. Additionally, he calls on Wike to prioritize employment opportunities for local graduates and skilled workers, especially as the FCT hosts the nation’s capital.
A legal expert, Deji Adeyanju, foresees Wike’s ability to replicate his achievements in Port Harcourt as FCT Minister. Adeyanju notes that Wike’s work ethic and innovative infrastructure ideas could greatly benefit the FCT, although he warns against potential issues of impunity and disregard for legal processes.
While Wike’s dedication to cleaning up the city and focusing on infrastructure is promising, concerns linger regarding the possibility of political vendettas.
Wike’s past affiliation with the opposition party and his support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the last presidential election have fueled speculations that he may target properties belonging to his former party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and other opposition groups.
Responding to these insinuations, Wike has clarified his stance in his inaugural speech, stressing that he will not pursue vendettas. He asserts that his actions are guided by transparency and compliance with existing regulations.
Wike’s entrance into office has set the stage for ambitious infrastructural development in the FCT.
His commitment to tackling illegal structures and improving sanitation aligns with his track record as a proactive leader.
As FCT residents lay out their hopes for better road networks and employment opportunities, they also remind him of the need for mature governance that respects due process. While concerns of political bias persist, Wike’s maiden speech indicates his intention to uphold fairness and transparency in his endeavors.
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