The senator representing the federal capital territory (FCT), Ireti Kingibe, has said Nyesom Wike, the minister of the territory, needs time to study the “dynamics” of the city before issuing demolition threats.
Kingibe said this on Wednesday during a chat with reporters in Abuja.
The senator had been asked to comment on the demolition threats issued by Wike on his first day in office.
While agreeing that some structures on waterways and floodplains need to go, Kingibe advised Wike to look at the issues holistically.
“For one thing, I’m not telling you that there would not be demolitions,” she said.
“There are many problems with FCT. Look at the flooding taking place in FCT, why? Houses are being built on flood channels, permissions are being given to people to build estates on flood plains.
“There are so many things that we need to fix.
“I am not talking of random demolitions that the minister has not been here long enough to have studied everything holistically and I feel like he needs to take time to look at the whole picture of the FCT then decide.
“Lots of things need demolishing, there is no doubt about that.
“Now that I have been affirmed, I have the full right to speak as the senator representing FCT.
“What I can assure you is that the interest of the people will be paramount in all that I do.”
Kingibe said she hopes her interests and Wike’s align for the good of FCT residents.
“You must remember that the minister and I have different goals. I was elected by the people so I’m answerable to you the people of the FCT. He is not,” she said.
“But working together I hope we can merge our interests.”
Kingibe said the minister is supposed to administer the FCT in collaboration with the national assembly and president because he “does not have executive powers”.
“You also have to remember that the minister of the FCT — I’m not sure we have had a former governor as minister, I think we have had one,” she said.
“Some [former] governors may think that as FCT minister… the minister does not have executive powers.
“He works hand-in-hand with the national assembly and the president to administer FCT.”