By Stanley Onyekwere
Some Abuja-based journalists have stressed the need to establish an Abuja Indigenes Bureau, akin to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to strategically cater for the needs of the original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This, the journalists under the auspices of the FCT Press Corps, said is a task that incoming FCT Minister who is actually a representative of the president should work assiduously to realize.
It was part of the recommendations contained in a communique issued at the end of a two day retreat on the achievements of the change mantra and readiness for next level by the FCT Administration which held recently in Nondon Hotel, Enugu, capital of of Enugu State.
The Pressmen noted that doing so would ease a lot of friction presently experienced between the administration and the natives of Abuja.
It would be recalled that recently the Vice President’s convoy was interrupted along the Air port road by protesting Abuja youths who claimed that their land was allegedly being taken away by the Nigerian Army without compensation or due resettlement by the appropriate authorities.
Also, about some youth were alleged to have died earlier while protesting the lingering purported conflict with the Army.
Interestingly, in their brainstorming session, participants agreed that the authorities should come to terms with reality and urgently review of the master plan to allow it accommodate existing realities and make further projections for the rapidly expanding Territory.
On the huge amount required to pay for ressetlement and compensation, that government should summon the courage and mobilise the needed N500 billion for a comprehensive resettlement of the indigenous population of the FCT and save the nation the trouble this issue will snow ball into in the near future.
For the speedy development of the nation’s capital in the era of very scarce resources, the group advised that further Public Private Partnership (PPP) be entered into like the Land Swap policy.
On the other hand, to achieve a credible partnership, so that investors dont see it as a meanse of land grab, they called on the FCTA to critically vet would-be private investors before partnering with them for the development of the territory.
They also urged the FCT Administration to key into e-governance to save time, man hour wasted and facilitate ease of governance while curbing corruption as technology, though can be abused, but makes it very easy to track events and crime.
The group, however, commended Abuja land management and Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) for inventing strategies for land edification and resolving disputes.