Kubwa Disaster

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

One of the founding fathers of the Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja, Pa Olumuji Ezekiel Bamidele, has advised the Federal government to check the influx of people into the territory, saying that as a matter of urgency, the government should formulate policies that will make the territory a bit restricted.

This, according to him, would help stem the tide of insecurity that has ravaged the nation’s capital and also avoid distortions of the Abuja Master Plan.

The Octogenarian was part of the three-member panel set up by the then Head of state, General Murtala Muhammed to scout for a befitting administrative structure for the FCT.

Others on the panel were the late Pa Aboyade and Chief Olu Falae who were commissioned by General Muhammed to scout for a befitting administrative structure for Abuja.

“We set out to London, Washington, Brazil, and other countries and we concluded that Abuja should be modeled according to the Brazilian administrative structure.

“A panel was set up, to me it was just like an ordinary routine official assignment which needed no announcement as at that time. So many administrative capitals were studied then, but the emphasis was on the Brazilian administrative pattern and that is what is being followed to date.

“We started Abuja from Suleja in 1979. We rented small houses for offices before we started building Abuja before we moved to Abuja. After my retirement, I had the opportunity to visit Abuja again in 2013 for my 70th birthday, I could see a lot of developments and a lot of changes that I could hardly recognize a lot of places then. There was a lot of development as of then. By now, I am sure the development must be spectacular”, he said with nostalgia.

Speaking in a chat with our correspondent, Pa Bamidele said once there is influx of people, there would be attendant insecurity and that Abuja could soon go the way of Lagos, the former nation’s capital.

Pa Olumuji who recently celebrated his 83rd birthday hinted that: “Abuja used to be a no-go area for some people at that time (when they newly relocated the nation’s capital to Abuja). Many of our staff ran back to Lagos and a few of us who had no choice waited and things started to get better because Abuja was in the early stages, but now everybody wants to be in Abuja. Abuja is now Nigeria’s Washington.

“The Federal Government should find a way to cope with the increasing population because the projection for Abuja was slightly over three million then, but as time went on, the population doubled, thereby stretching the already existing infrastructural facilities. The Federal Government should ensure that necessary arrangements are made to cope with the increase.

“Before I left Abuja, after my retirement (over 25yrs ago) Abuja Master Plan was being followed to the letters, however, during the tenure of the incumbent Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, there were distortions in the Abuja Master Plan and steps were immediately taken to restore it.

“The present FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello is also doing his best possible in restoring the distorted Abuja Master Plan and overcoming the insecurity in the nation’s capital through robust demolition of criminal hideouts”, he stressed.

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