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INSECURITY: FCT MINISTER MEETS TRADITIONAL RULERS, AREA COUNCIL CHAIRMEN

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INSECURITY: FCT MINISTER MEETS TRADITIONAL RULERS, AREA COUNCIL CHAIRMEN                                                                                                        25-01-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                        SOLICITS SUPPORT OF TRADITIONAL INSTITUTIONS. DIRECTS AREA COUNCILS TO SET UP VIGILANTE OUTFITS

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Nyesom Wike has called for the support of traditional rulers and Area Council Chairmen in the FCT in tackling insecurity in the nation’s capital.

The FCT Minister made the call in Abuja when he held a meeting with the FCT graded chiefs and Area Council Chairmen on the security challenges confronting the territory and government’s efforts in curbing them.

Mr. Wike said traditional rulers and Area Council Chairmen have roles to play in ensuring security in their domain by providing credible information to security agencies.

He said, “Traditional rulers have a role to play in securing their domain. You know those around your domain. If there are faces that you think are not familiar within that axis, it is within your powers to report such faces or call your Area Council Chairman to be able to make a report to security agencies or to my office so that actions can be taken”.

The Minister who also disclosed that he had instructed the six Area Councils in the FCT to set up vigilante outfits to complement the efforts of the security agencies, urged the traditional rulers to ensure that those that would be enlisted into the vigilante outfits are fit and proper persons with no criminal records.

According to the Minister, “We have instructed all the Area Councils to set up vigilante units and we believe that those vigilantes will not be the ones perpetrating the crime. Therefore, they must be profiled to know who these people are. Do we know them? Are they from our communities, so we don’t go and say we want to solve problems while we are causing problems for ourselves.

Speaking further on the efforts of the government to address the security challenges in the FCT, the Minister said the police and other security agencies had been directed to itemize all their needs in the fight against insecurity and added that the FCTA will also provide motorcycles to all the area councils to enable the security agencies to go to hard- to-reach locations.

Mr. Wike also stressed the need for synergy and cooperation among all the stakeholders involved in the fight against insecurity in the FCT to ensure that they are on the same page.

He equally encouraged the Council Chairmen and traditional rulers to bring to the attention of the government whatever they believe should be done to address the security challenges in the FCT.

He said, “We must work hard because insecurity is not written on anybody’s face. Nobody knows who may be the next victim and that is why we must do everything possible to see that we don’t allow our subjects to continue to be victims of these criminals”.

The Minister also cautioned against politicizing the fight against insecurity in the FCT as well as the spread of misinformation about the activities of government, especially the demolition of shanties which are known to provide cover for criminals.

Also speaking on the efforts to address the menace of taxi robbery, popularly known as “one chance”, the Minister disclosed that the FCT Administration was putting structures in place that would ensure that only registered taxis painted in FCT colours are allowed to operate in the FCT.

He said, “Very soon, we are going to roll out our buses which will be painted in Abuja colour. In that case, we will not allow taxis that are not painted in Abuja colour to operate here, so that those “one chance” will no longer be there.

The Minister added that the FCTA will also provide bus terminals for various routes in the FCT which will serve as the operational base for registered buses and taxis in the FCT.

“If we have three to four terminals, it will be designed in such a way that these vehicles will go to so, so areas. If you are travelling to so, so area, go to that terminal and those that will operate there are taxis and buses that we have profiled, we know them”, he further stressed.

In his remark, the Chairman, FCT Traditional Council and the Onah of Abaji, Dr Adamu Baba Yunusa commended the efforts of the FCT Administration in addressing the security challenges in the FCT and pledged the support and cooperation of the traditional institution.

The Onah also thanked the Minister for approving the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the six Area Councils of the FCT as well as the construction of selected palaces of traditional rulers.

He however drew the attention of the FCT Minister to the issue of the striking staff of the FCT Area Councils, NULGE, as well as teachers in the FCT primary schools, to which the Minister responded that the issues had been resolved.

The Minister said he met with the NUT and the Area Councils, where they agreed that the FCTA will offset 40 percent of the debts owed by the Area Councils, which will be paid on a monthly basis, while the Area Councils will also pay the remaining 60 percent.

“The same thing with NULGE. FCT has taken over 40 percent, let them pay 60 percent. In the next three, four months, we would have finished paying and they are all happy”.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Kwali Area who is also the FCT ALGON Chairman, Danladi Chiya assured that the six Area Council Chairmen will provide the necessary support and work with the FCT Administration to ensure that government meets its objectives.

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