Since the inauguration of Ministers by President Bola Tinubu, there’s hardly any day that goes by without the buzz of hot stories from reputable social media platforms, national newspapers, television and radio stations, regarding developmental issues in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), being championed by the FCT Minister, the indefatigable Nyesom Wike.
While it’s true that so many Nigerians are conversant with the transformational exploits of Wike in Rivers State, I can bet a million bucks that some of them haven’t really experienced the remarkable developmental style and pace of the former Governor, real time.
Perhaps, that’s the reason his name is endlessly on the lips of not a few Abuja residents, and many other Nigerians, resident in other states, or probably because of the action-filled developmental approach of the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant.
As someone who lived in the FCT, I know that, before the advent of the new Minister, the place was solemnly begging for social, economic and environmental rejuvenation. Disorder was gradually creeping into the nooks and crannies of the centre of power, and its special status was under severe threat.
A threat that the unregulated movement of bikes and tricycles exacerbated, leading to incessant armed robbery attacks, that sometimes occurred in broad daylight, particularly in highbrow areas. Hotels and places of recreation became hotbeds of crimes no where was safe anymore in ABJ!
As a capital city, Abuja ought to be a model to other Nigerian States, but the presence of shanties; herdsmen and their herds strolling on the streets; poorly constructed roads and drainages; congested nature of the markets; unhygienic and untidy conditions of drainages; dilapidated road networks; colourful garbage heaps; illegal, abandoned and wrinkled buildings accommodating fearless criminals; poorly-lit streets, and so many other developmental ills, posed as serious concerns for FCT in terms of health, safety, security, and economic prosperity.
Recently, Abuja was flooded, as against the city’s masterplan. Unfortunately, people were beginning to acquire and develop properties on waterways. Nobody was on the watch, and water was gradually beginning to pervade the length and breadth of the Centre of Unity. Put simply, Abuja was in a state of emergency!
However, the emergency situation has finally met its antidote, as the Nyesom Wike-led FCT administration is now sanitising the Federal Capital Territory – be it in the demolition of illegal structures causing unnecessary traffic gridlock, safety and health issues and poor aesthetic ratings; revocation of poorly developed, illegal or abandoned properties posing safety and security threats; rehabilitation of roads, bridges and sundry infrastructure; revamping of housing projects; as well as other cogent developmental initiatives.
Less than 24 hours after inauguration, he called a press conference where he set the ball rolling. In his usual down-to-earth demeanour, he verbally positioned his developmental vision and mission for the FCT, while calling on interested parties to join the bandwagon of development.
Interestingly, the traditional leadership of the communities in the FCT weren’t left behind in the Wike-led developmental revolution. In a bid to fight insecurity in rural communities in Abuja, and in line with President Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope Agenda”, Wike met with traditional rulers and empowered them with gifts to aid them in effectively playing their role.
There’s a saying in Ikwerre language that “A market that would be fine, reveals itself in the morning”, and I dare say that, it’s a season of good mornings for Abuja in all facets, as Wike’s developmental signature has started adorning its nooks and crannies.