By Daniel Edu
Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, has faced criticism and suggestions regarding his plan to demolish buildings that do not conform to the original Master Plan of Abuja, particularly the Aso Villa, the seat of the Nigerian presidency.
Daniel Bwala, the spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 elections, expressed his views during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today. Bwala addressed the minister’s demolition proposal and raised important considerations.
Bwala emphasized that while adhering to the original Master Plan of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is essential, there are more pressing matters that the minister should prioritize over demolition.
He pointed out, “The FCT is not like the Ministry of Works; it is an Administration. There are many more important things than demolition that make up the Administration of the FCT.”
Regarding the demolition aspect, Bwala noted, “Let’s even start with the demolition. He (Wike) said he wants to go back to the original Master Plan. If we talk about the original Master Plan, let me tell you that the Aso Villa that houses the President, the seat of power, is not in the original Master Plan; it must go down.”
Bwala also highlighted other structures that do not align with the original Master Plan, including military barracks within the FCT and the extension areas like Asokoro, where governors’ offices and private residences are situated. He suggested that if the plan is to adhere strictly to the original Master Plan, these structures should also be subject to demolition.
He further pointed out, “There are many Federal Government assets and buildings in strategic places that are not in the original Master Plan.”
While acknowledging Nyesom Wike’s capacity to deliver as a minister, particularly considering his previous role as the governor of Rivers State, Bwala advised him to approach his responsibilities with a focus on achieving results without resorting to confrontation.
In essence, the discussion revolves around the need to balance adherence to the original Master Plan of Abuja with the practical considerations and potential consequences of demolishing existing structures, including the Aso Villa and military barracks, and the importance of prioritizing essential administrative tasks in the Federal Capital Territory.