Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Senate on Wednesday in Abuja declared that it would probe the violation of the Abuja Master Plan by successive presidents and administrations of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) since 1999 till date.
Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, who was apparently irked by what he considered an affront by the immediate past Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, on the resolutions of the Senate Committee on FCT, dropped the hint at a briefing with the Senate correspondents.
The UNION reports that the followings had supervised the administration of the FCT during the period under review: Alhaji Ibrahim Bunu (1999 to 2001), Mohammed Abba Gana (February 8, 2001 to July 17, 2003), Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai (July 17, 2003 to July 27, 2007), Aliyu Modibbo Umar (July 27, 2007 to October 29, 2008), Muhammadu Adamu Aliero (December 17, 2008 to April 8, 2010) and Bala Mohammed (April 8, 2010 to May 29, 2015).
The Committee, it would be recalled, had, after a facility tour of major landmarks in the FCT recently, threatened to revoke projects allocated to former President Goodluck Jonathan, chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and alleged cronies of the immediate Minister of FCT on the Maitama Hill and Missisippi Street by the Minister.
Bala, in his response to the revocation threats by the Committee, had, through paid advert placements on the media, queried the motive behind the move.
He specifically observed that it must not be unconnected with the Committee members’ special interest in the land acquisition in the FCT.
Reacting to the comments by the former FCT Minister, Melaye said that the decision to revoke the wrongful allocation of a national monument, like the Maitama Hills and Missisippi Street to some powers that be in the society was collectively taken by the Committee members.
“I want to state that the decision of the Committee on FCT is not a unanimous resolve but was taken collectively and done within the ambit of the law. With due respect to the former Minister, he should not assume to be ignorant of this crucial fact as a former legislator of the Upper Chamber.
“This is a a government of change, and this is the most proper period to right all administrative wrongs championed by the past administrations,” he noted.
He explained that prior to arriving at the resolutions, the Committee exhausted all administrative variables by inviting all concerned actors on land administration in FCT comprising directors of Survey and Mapping, Urban and Regional Dev.and Development Control and Land Administration in addition to carrying out physical visitation of the areas concerned.
Melaye regretted that in the committee’s interaction with the Directors of the above departments, they all affirmed that the allocation of those areas were done with impunity.
“The decision to stop work order was predicated upon the Committee’s assessment. It is important therefore to note that the committee’s decision was guided by due process and the rule of law.
“Permit me to remind FCT administration again,by stating that this Committee will not hesitate to ensure that all administrative anomalies misappropriation of funds or misapplication of the laws as the case may be,that were occasioned by the past administrations of the Federal Capital Territory are fully addressed. This is what Justice demands in this circumstance to write the wrongs,” he added.
He said that the Committee has vowed to ensure that the Abuja Master Plan must be adhered to and that any attempt by any administration or individuals distort the Green Areas with the Master Plan or the drainages would be resisted.
“All past ministers of FCT since 1999, when democracy took off in the 4th Republic, in their wisdom, preserved the serenity, the tourist attraction and the importance of Maitama Hills, in conformity with the vision of the founding fathers of Abuja.
“But Senator Bala Mohammed, in his bid to satisfy some powerful Nigerians before the end of his tenure, disregarded the wisdom of his predecessors, and the vision of the founding fathers of Abuja, went ahead to implement Messrs Fola Consult Limited’s recommendation, by allocating this important feature (Maitama Hills) to the named powerful Nigerians.
“The action of the former Minister could be described as pure maladministration, it is satanic and a display of madness. The original land use of this allocated areas is a stream valley, erosion prone area as verbally affirmed by the Director of Urban and Regional Planning,” he said.