Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has commended the leadership of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and traditional institutions in the Council for intervening and restoring peace within Gosa community and environs.
Recall that violence broke following a demolition exercise by officials of the FCT Administration at Gosa Market, which resulted in a very serious violent protest, and halted vehicular and human flow along the busy Airport Road in the nation’s capital, last week.
Bello noted that even though he had addressed the public after the unfortunate incident, the government needed to sustain dialogue with other stakeholders in order to restore sanity in area.
The Minister spoke through Coordinator Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD), Umar Tanko Yamawo, at a Press conference organised by the leadership of AMAC, to evaluate issues surrounding the Gosa mayhem.
While reiterating commitment to upgrade all the communities along the Airport Road, the Minister urged residents and indigenes of communities on the axis to give room for dialogue with the government, so that they can benefit from proposed developmental Initiatives.
According to him, “But that can only be done if we give room for proper negotiation, because government will always want to dialogue, if you give room for such.”
“FCTA is always and ever ready to work with the people, so the government is with the people, as if there are no people there is no way you will have government.”
He stressed the the need for the indigenes to heed to the clarion calls of their leaders, urging them not to take laws into their hands.
Also speaking, AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu Candido, condemned the way and manner that the protesters went about expressing their grievance over the removal exercise was not in tandem with how advocacy should be.
Candido who offered apologies for the unfortunate incident, cautioned the youth, who are in the vanguard of speaking for their people to find a better platform for expressing their feelings.
He charged community leaders to continue talking and sensitising their people to always press home their demands with every sense of civility and avoid the use of force.
According to him, the FCT Minister displayed a rare leadership quality in handling the situation.
“We want to place it on record that this area Council on behalf of the entire residents of the Council, we hereby tender our unreserved apologies for all that had happened, leading to the closure of the road.
“It should also be noted that the human nature of the FCT Minister and simplicity of thegovernment must never be taken for weakness by anyone.
“Advocates must approach and advance their issues in a very civilized manner, whatever issue anyone has, if properly placed on the dialogue table, it can be addressed.
“So, never again should we expect our communities particularly those along the Airport Road to engage in an uncivilized protest,” Candido stated.
Similarly, the Chief of Garki (Sa’peyi of Garki), Alhaji Usman Nga-Kupi,commended the FCT minister and security agents for taken proactive measures to contain the crisis.
The Monarch equally commended the FCT youth, who hearkened to their persistent request to leave the highway.
“We want to assure Nigerians, particularly those who are residing in the FCT, including the international community that the incident will never repeat itself,” he stressed.