Socio-cultural organizations of various nationalities dwelling in the Federal Capital Territory have been urged to work for the unity and progress of the country.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, made this call when the Igbos in Diaspora Assembly paid him a visit in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja on Thursday.
The Minister reiterated that the unity of the country must be emphasized to promote development and peaceful co-existence of the various peoples and cultures within the country.
Malam Bello also urged the Igbo Group to throw their weight behind the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to enable him take Nigeria to enviable heights.
His words: “The Igbos should also extend their support to the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to enable the President deliver on his mandates of restoring the economic and political integrity of the country”.
According to him, “I appeal to you to continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari for all the good work he is doing in Nigeria, the sacrifice he is making to make sure that we go back to what we used to be as Nigerians in terms of political strength on the international scene; in terms of economic activity as well as social cohesion”.
“The way you have supported me, I want you to please support the President of Nigeria in the same manner because God knows why President Buhari is on the driver’s seat today,” he stressed.
He emphasized, “The elders among you who have travelled widely in this country, you know how you have related very closely with your neighbours and your friends, irrespective of the location in this country. I think this is something that is very unique with Nigeria and we should not lose it at all”.
While describing the Igbos as a very vibrant and influential group that have been part and parcel of the development of the FCT, the Minister said they must also ensure that those they elected during the last Area Council elections in the FCT are held accountable to the people.
“Since the Area Councils Chairmen and Councilors were elected by you and your members, it is your duty to ensure that they perform by making sure that markets are clean and the relevant agencies handling waste disposal are able to do their work,” he added.
“We are encouraging the Area Councils to make their markets safer and to ensure that access roads to the markets are okay as well as proper fire service arrangement so that we do not have instances where if God forbid, something happens, properties will be destroyed in the fire. Where they call upon you to pay minimal charges to help you maintain a clean environment, I think you should support them,” the Minister emphasized.
The Minister said as an Administration, the FCTA is working towards the expectations of the residents of the Federal Capital Territory to make Abuja a true centre of unity.
Malam Bello who stressed the need for security consciousness among the residents in the FCT and the country at large, appealed to Igbo leaders in the country to also emphasize the importance of security, good neighborliness and responsibility of the citizens so as to promote development.
“What we have tried to do and we will continue to do is that we want to make sure that the FCT is the most secure place in the country and that is why we devote a lot of human and material resources to ensure that this is really maintained and I’m very happy that you have acknowledged that,” the Minister noted.
Malam Bello remarked, “human endevour depends on progress and development and if there is no security we cannot achieve that; so as a government, we will continue to emphasize that. But government alone cannot do it without the collaboration and partnership of the citizenry”.
“The present FCT Administration is assiduously working to complete abandoned road projects in the Federal Capital City because the Administration has been able to pay the contractors some amount of money and that is why you can see a lot of work is being done”, the Minister stated.
He said, “With good infrastructure, it becomes easier for us to run our businesses and do things that normally makes a community like our own to be very successful and progressive.”
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Igbos in Diaspora Assembly, Chief Kalu Uche Kalu lauded the Minister’s efforts in the maintenance of high level security in the Federal Capital Territory.
Chief Kalu urged the Minister to continue with the completion of abandoned road projects around the Federal Capital City and appealed to the Minister to help allocate a plot of land for the building of Igbos in Diaspora Assembly Headquarters in Abuja.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye and other senior officials of the FCT Administration joined the Minister to receive the delegation