Political and economic analysts have picked holes in Nyesom Wike’s threat and strong message to property owners in the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.
Wike, at a press conference shortly after his inauguration as the new FCT minister, announced to the bewildered Abuja residents that he had come to the capital city to demolish buildings and revoke land titles, warning that he would step on toes.
“If you know you have built where you are not supposed to build, it will go down. Be it a minister of anywhere, be it an ambassador… if you know you have developed where you are not supposed to, your house will go down.
And those who have been given certificates of occupancy (CofO) and failed to develop, and they have become land speculators, the land is gone. I will revoke them,” Wike said at the conference.
This threat has sparked unsavoury comments from analysts who have said that the new minister acted true to type as he seemed to have gone into action before thinking through what his plans for the capital city were.
“Our government and its officials are known for always acting before thinking and also threatening and issuing warnings to the people. President Tinubu announced the fuel subsidy removal without first thinking about how to implement it. Wike is going the same way,” Charles Nwekeaku, a professor at the Department of New Public Management, Nasarawa State University, said.
“How much of the Abuja master plan does Wike know? What I think Wike should have done first and foremost was to sit down, study the master plan, understand it, and thereafter set up a committee to advise him on what to do where the master plan has truly been distorted,” the professor added.
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Rockad Aderanti, a social affairs commentator, was particularly worried about the new minister’s threat, saying that the threat was uncalled for, especially now that Nigerians were suffering from a bad economy caused by bad leadership in the country.
He noted that Abuja was dominated by real estate developments which are largely owned by people in government. According to him, houses are expensive in Abuja because the government has failed to do what it is supposed to do for the people.
Aderanti noted that Nigerians were suffering already and so there should be no more threats coming from the government or its officials at a time like this. “Wike’s threats only showed that government has no consideration for the people,” he said.
Wike had warned that “those who have taken over the green areas to build, sorry. The green areas must come back; so, if you know anyone involved, that has taken over the green areas or parks and turned them to restaurants, we will not accept that.”
He added, “If your father has done that, sorry, if your mother has done that, sorry; there’s nothing I can do. It will go down.
The minister noted that there was refuse everywhere, asking, “Those who are paid for refuse collection, what are they doing?”