By Muhammad Abdullahi, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration, has vowed that any political leader or traditional ruler found colliding or aiding criminality in any area council especially during the forthcoming area council elections will not be spared.
In his speech during a familiarisation tour to Gwagwalada and Kuje Area Council, the Mandate Secretary, Area Council Secretariat, Abubakar Dantsho, said that the FCT Administration is determined to ensure free, fair, transparent and non-violent election in all the Area Councils within the territory.
The Mandate Secretary, further urged the political and traditional leaders of Gwagwalada and Kuje Area Councils to ensure peaceful coexistence among the residents of their respective domains.
He further called on the monarchs to appeal to the teaming vibrant youth to shun drug abuse and also eschew violence before, during and after the area council election.
“We should all play politics of maturity irrespective of our political affiliation. Let me sound a note of warning here that any traditional ruler, political party, individual or group found colliding or aiding criminality in any Area council will not be spared.
He also called for synergy from all the area councils and chiefdoms within the FCT, even as he assured that the secretariat will always ensure timely intervention in all the request presented.
Dantsho said that the purpose of the visit to the Area Council and the traditional institutions was to have on the spot assessment of the council with a view to understanding their desires and challenges.
“Part of our mission is to serve as a bridge between the area councils and FCT Administration. Our relationship therefore should go beyond the monthly ritual of JAAC.
“There is need for synergy between the Area Council and the Secretariat to enable us fill the development gap of socio, economic and infrastructural development at the grassroots in various area councils.
Poverty does not recognize party loyalists or party faithful. We as a secretariat should move beyond party affiliations.”
Speaking further, the Mandate Secretary said traditional rulers’ role in conflict management, resolution and prevention cannot be overlooked.
“The role of traditional institutions in security can never be overemphasised. They serve as first-line vanguards in handling communal conflicts and crises, thereby advancing peaceful coexistence amongst our diverse citizenry.
Traditional rulers can reach the people involved in social vices, terrorism and militancy and call them for dialogue and negotiation.
“For traditional rulers to participate meaningfully on matters of security in the country, there is a need for them to be repositioned to their previously assigned constitutional roles so as not to just serve as agents of conflict resolution but also as security managers which they were before during the colonial era.
“With the ever-increasing security challenges facing the nation today, the integration of traditional rulers into a security network that will provide necessary stability is desirable.
“I wish to clearly urge you to continue to support the Administration and also remain law abiding, keep peace among your subjects, eschew violence and avoid been involved in sales of land.”
Highlighting the challenges of his area, the Chairman, Kuje Area Council, Suleiman Sabi, called on FCT Administration, to correct the wrong the, FCT Internal Revenue Services, FCT-IRS, is commiting in denying the area council her ten percent return on its PAYEE. He also called for better synergy that would end duplication of same projects in Area councils.
The Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Muhammed Magaji, called on the FCT authority to help end illegal minings and insecurities in the territory.
On the part of Gomo, of Kuje His Royal Highness, Aruna Tanko, Aguma Gwagwalada, His Royal Highness Muhammed Magaji, Agora Zuba, His Royal Highness, Mohammed Bello and Sarkin Jiwa, His Royal Highness, Idris Musa, they all asked for policy document that will analyse entitlements for each traditional leaders in the territory.
Other demands include; implementation of five percent payment on the local government IGR to the traditional leaders, water provision as well as vehicles for the third class chiefs that are yet to enjoy the FCTA gestures, building of council secretariat and upgrading of traditional rulers which according to them was last done fifty years ago.