The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has advised the Chairmen of the six Area Councils in FCT to constitute a Surveillance Committee in their respective councils to curb insecurity.
Wike gave the advice while responding to the challenges outlined by the councils’ chairmen during a familiarisation meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the surveillance committee will help in checking insecurity and activities of illegal mining in communities, which creates an avenue for insecurity.
Earlier, the Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Mr Danladi Chiya, outlined inadequate funds, sanitation, public transportation, land allocation and insecurity, particularly kidnappings as the major challenges affecting the area councils.
Chiya disclosed that 19 persons were kidnaped in Bwari Area Council today (Thursday) and urged the minister to come to their aid.
On land allocation, the chairman said that peoples’ backyard, graveyard, including churches were being allocated to individuals.
The Chairman, Bwari Area Council, Mr John Gabaya, urged Wike to carry the council chairmen along in land allocation and development to enable them to monitor the allocated land development process.
His counterpart, Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Mr Abdullahi Sabo, also lamented the menace of illegal miners in the area councils, stressing that they were constituting a security threat.
Sabo said that a landslide in one of the mining sites took the lives of about 30 persons, adding that when invested, it was discovered that the miners do not have a mining licence.
Responding to the issues, Wike said he would call for an emergency security meeting with the Director, Department State Services and Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, to look at the issue.
He called for the cooperation and support of the council chairmen, saying that “we cannot achieve anything without the support of the area council chairmen, it is not possible.
“We must collaborate and work together for the interest of our people,” he said.
On shortage of funds, the minister advised the chairmen of prudent use of available resources while assuring them that they would get whatever was due to them under his watch.
He also called for a working synergy with the area councils to improve sanitation in the city.
On land allocation, the minister explained that land allocation by law, was under the purview of the FCT Administration.
He, however, agreed with the council chairmen to carry them along so that they would put an eye on the development process.
“Involve the area council when given out land for development so that they will check mate what is going on.
“We are not everywhere, how many times do we go out? By the time you know people have developed, then you will go and demolish, and it will cause problems.
“But if we carry them along then they become our eyes in those areas. That is how it is supposed to be. I can assure you I will change all these things,” he said.
On illegal mining, Wike assured the chairmen that he would discuss, with the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake to eliminate illegal mining in the FCT.
Earlier, Minister of Stare, FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, and the Permanent Secretary in the FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola expressed the willingness of the Administration to continue to partner with the councils’ chairmen for inclusive development of the capital territory.