By Stanley Onyekwere
Natives of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called for a special funding for the Territory, to carter for its ever expanding population with the attendant developmental and social service needs.
According to the natives, the special funding was needed to ensure steady implementation of critical projects in the FCT such as mass transportation, health, education roads construction and expansion. Of particular concern to them, are the expansion of the ever busy Abuja – Nyanya – Keffi express road and the opening of alternate routes on that axis to ease perennial traffic gridlocks there.
This was disclosed by some traditional rulers and opinion leaders drawn from the six area councils of FCT, when they paid a visit to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Abuja natives whose address was read by the Ona of Abaji and the Chairman of FCT Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa, described the President a listening and performing leader, according to a statement by SA Media to the FCT minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi, yesterday.
They told the President that the extra funding would also be useful in fast tracking the development of FCT area councils and satellite towns to decongest the city centre and enhance living standard in the rural areas. They pointed to the fact that today the FCT population is over five million which is more than the population of some states.
The FCT traditional rulers and people also advocated greater funding of the Resettlement and Compensation programme as a way of giving a sense of belonging to their people and putting them in proper position to contribute their quota to national development.
However, they blamed the existence of places like Garki Village, Utako Village, Jabi Village and Guzape where the natives live in squalor without basic amenities on neglect by previous administrations. Furthermore, the natives called for the endorsement of the recommendations of the Conference concerning creation of an additional Senatorial seat for FCT, more Federal Constituencies, two additional area councils, provision for a mayoral status for Abuja City and appointment of a Minister from the FCT just like the states of the Federation.