by Segun Odeleye
The minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, realised on Monday that he has been living inside a bubble and was not really aware of how bad things had deteriorated in the nation’s capital.
Following the harsh criticism he received last week by the senate FCT committee who told him that Abuja had deteriorated to its old state under him, he decided to take a tour of the city. He did not like what he saw.
Addressing journalists after the inspection tour of the city, during which he came face-to-face with all manner of environmental degradation in the city, including commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada who were operating unhindered in Area One, Garki, the minister accused the directors and heads of agencies of feeding him lies about the state of affairs in the city in their reports to him.
“I have seen that all the information the directors have been giving me in the files are lies. They told me the city is clean but it is not true. We have gone round with you. They told me there are no street traders, but there are street traders everywhere. They told me there are no beggars but we saw them everywhere today. They told me there were no okada riders but in fact, the okadas are more than the vehicles. Definitely, you can see that what they told me is not true.
“It is good to go for inspection and supervision, not just sitting in the office but making sure that you go out and do on the spot assessment and find out things for yourself,” he said.
He reminded them that late last year, he issued a warning to all of them to sit up or be shown the way out. According to him, that threat remains, and anyone not willing to work should either resign or be sacked as the administration cannot continue to allow lack of capacity by some of its directors to thwart the efforts it was making to sanitise the city.
“Anybody who feels he cannot capture our vision and passion should humbly resign. My patience and that of my Minister of State is exhausted. They are under strict notice and anyone who does not comply and work hard will be shown the way out,” he said.