ASO CHRON­I­CLES Min­is­ter: FCT na­tives will ap­proach S/Court for in­ter­pre­ta­tions of sta­tus-Tanko Abari

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE - By Terkula Igidi & Abubakar Sadiq Isah

How the of Muham­madu cabi­net?

I as­sess Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees as be­ing ex­cel­lent. He did it on the ground that th­ese peo­ple would work and serve this coun­try well and so that is why he se­lected them.

But youth were very ac­tive, es­pe­cially on the so­cial me­dia, dur­ing the cam­paign and I be­lieve their ef­forts con­trib­uted to Buhari’s vic­tory but they seem to have been side­lined?

To me, I don’t think the youth have been side­lined, as the foundation has to be laid be­fore they can take over; be­cause there is no foundation, if you look at what hap­pened dur­ing the last regime, the former pres­i­dent sur­rounded him­self with peo­ple that don’t have in­tegrity. They told him what he liked to hear, not what he didn’t like so that they can have their way or get resources into their own pock­ets. But un­der the present ad­min­is­tra­tion of Muham­madu Buhari, he is lay­ing a foundation for the coun­try’s fu­ture so that the youth would come and take over.

And be­sides, there are other ap­point­ments in the pres­i­dency which he has just started and the com­ing ones as you can never can tell, he may give them to the youth.

What is your take on ag­i­ta­tions by na­tives of the FCT to be con­sid­ered for a min­is­te­rial ap­point­ment as there is this feel­ing among them that they have been ne­glected for too long by suc­ces­sive ad­min­is­tra­tions?

First and fore­most, I am a na­tive of the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory. I was the cam­paign co-co­or­di­na­tor of Buhari in FCT and he promised to give us what he gave other states but there are other ap­point­ments still un­der him, so if we don’t get the min­is­te­rial ap­point­ment, we would get other ap­point­ments as there are many. There is an ap­point­ment that you may be given which is more than the min­is­ter but peo­ple’s eyes are on the min­is­te­rial ap­point­ment.

So, for the FCT orig­i­nal in­hab­i­tants, they should be pa­tient, they will not be for­got­ten, they will be given their fair share by this ad­min­is­tra­tion. And be­sides, those who are even shout­ing and protest­ing that they want min­is­te­rial ap­point­ment did not even vote for Buhari, they


you see com­po­si­tion Pres­i­dent

Buhari’s Al­haji Musa Tanko Abari was the FCT Sen­a­to­rial can­di­date un­der the plat­form of the de­funct Congress for Pro­gres­sives Change (CPC) in 2011 and was the FCT cam­paign co­or­di­na­tor of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari in 2015 elec­tions. In this in­ter­view, he speaks on the com­po­si­tion of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s cabi­net and the ex­clu­sion of the FCT na­tives from the cabi­net. But Abari said na­tives of the FCT will ap­proach the Supreme Court to seek in­ter­pre­ta­tion on the sta­tus of FCT. are PDP peo­ple and we that are in APC still re­main in the party and we are watch­ing. And I be­lieve that Pres­i­dent Buhari would not side­line the peo­ple of the FCT, es­pe­cially the na­tives, as he would do his best to sat­isfy all Nige­ri­ans.

What do you think is the last hope of the orig­i­nal in­hab­i­tants of the FCT?

I be­lieve that the orig­i­nal in­hab­i­tants would surely get their share of the na­tional cake as Nige­ria is made of over 170 mil­lion peo­ple and the con­sti­tu­tion is guid­ing us, even though the con­sti­tu­tion says Abuja should be treated like other states of the fed­er­a­tion, it has not made a clear cut pro­nounce­ment that it should be treated like a state. At least, it should state that “treated as a state by giv­ing us gover­nor and every­thing for state, but they didn’t make it clear. So it is left for us to go to Supreme Court and get in­ter­pre­ta­tion that the FCT should be treated like a state. And I be­lieve when we get the in­ter­pre­ta­tion, then we will now con­front who­ever we want to con­front. And we will for­ward it the pres­i­dent for his ac­tion, be­cause I be­lieve he is a man that fol­lows the rules and reg­u­la­tions of the coun­try.

You con­tested for the sen­a­to­rial seat in the FCT un­der the plat­form of the de­funct Congress for Pro­gres­sive Change (CPC), which you lost to the in­cum­bent Sen­a­tor Philip Aduda of the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP), why didn’t you join the race again in 2015?

I con­tested

in 2011

for the FCT sen­a­to­rial elec­tion where I even de­feated the in­cum­bent Sen­a­tor Philip Aduda of the PDP in his own polling unit at Karu ward, but what hap­pened, the gov­ern­ment of then PDP would not al­low you even if you win elec­tion, they will change it and that was what hap­pened to my elec­tion. And af­ter the elec­tion, I went to the tri­bunal to seek for jus­tice but at the end of the day, I was de­nied jus­tice as I was de­nied ac­cess to in­spect elec­tion ma­te­ri­als. But I still thank God that to­day, the change we have been clam­or­ing for over the years has now come to re­al­ity. And for the con­test­ing you talked about, I ac­tu­ally re-con­tested in 2015, but I lost out at the pri­maries to Sen­a­tor Adamu Sidi Ali, which I have to join hands with him dur­ing the elec­tion, but he was also rigged out by the same PDP.

We ob­served dur­ing the out­come of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­sults that the APC did not win in FCT, could that be the rea­son the na­tives have not been con­sid­ered for min­is­te­rial ap­point­ment?

You see, our votes in the FCT dur­ing the last pres­i­den­tial elec­tion was more than some states in the South­east and the South- South be­cause we got 140,000 votes for Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari in the FCT, while Good­luck got 151,00 votes . And re­mem­ber that this is the seat of gov­ern­ment so it was dif­fi­cult for the sit­ting pres­i­dent to lose here out rightly. They did what­ever was pos­si­ble to cap­ture here. And I have to be spe­cific; the ac­tual peo­ple that voted Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, in the FCT were Hausas, Fu­la­nis, and the mi­nori­ties not Gwaris and the Ig­bos. Like what hap­pened in the South­east that com­prised Anam­bra, Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi states, where they put their eggs in one bas­ket, was what re­flected here in FCT. So I can­not imag­ine the same Gwari peo­ple who were fall­ing over them­selves prais­ing former FCT min­is­ter, Sen­a­tor Bala Mo­hammed and Good­luck Jon­than for im­prov­ing the lives of the FCT na­tives and also sup­ported some poli­cies that are not in the in­ter­est of the na­tives will now go on the street protest­ing that the orig­i­nal in­hab­i­tants were ex­cluded from the fed­eral cabi­net.

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