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