Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido, in this interview with our correspondent, Stanley Onyekwere, declares that the Council under his watch will maintain the budding synergy between the Area council and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), so as to have a peaceful atmosphere for rapid and inclusive development. Also, he touches on other sundry issues. Excepts:
Just last week, the FCT Minister read a riot act to Area Councils’ chairmen on the need to deliver democratic dividends to the people. What’s your take on it?
The riot act by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello is a good one, and as leaders from area councils we will the do best we can to ensure that we do the needful. It is expected of us to ensure that services are rendered and from whatever little resources that is available in our disposal. And by the grace of God, we are assuring the Minister Federal Capital Territory that we will collaborate, we will also complement the effort of both the federal government and the FCT Administration.
How would you react to the recent criticism of political appointments by Council chairmen in the wake of the dwindling revenue ?
As politicians we will also tell ourselves the truth . The people who voted for us, we most appreciate them. Sincerely, if I have the opportunity I can put in 1000 appointees to serve because it is a reward system.
Electorates are critical customers and critical stakeholders in the election process and they must be respected. And then for me in the area council, the little appointment I made is not even satisfactory because I am seeing it in a way that I have not fulfilled the reward policy system I have in me.
So, you’re saying that the presence of political appointments is not adding to the wage bills of the Area Councils….
All the same by the grace of God, we are not lacking in the payment of salaries, we are not lacking in other services the only thing we are asking is that we should be able to come up to ensure collaboration in all organs of government and that is why this tenure if you observed it have tried as much as possible to avoid conflict with relevant organs of government.
Recently, there seems to be intensive effort at resolving conflicts between the AMAC and FCTA especially in the area of revenue collection. What’s the state of affairs of the process?
For instance; only last week, there was a press conference between AEPB and the area council. This is to ensure that our clients outside there are no longer confused, so it is a win win situation – we don’t lose they don’t lose. Clearly, we are now in synergy with FCTA. It did not happen in last tenure but this time we are seeing it as a potential reason for us to really collaborate so that there shouldn’t be any reason for confusion, there shouldn’t be any reason for conflict and by the grace of God under my watch I will maintain it, so that the budding synergy between the Area council and FCT is further boosted so that we can have a peaceful atmosphere.
What specific role can the residents play to assist the government deliver good governance at the grassroots level?
My message to the residents of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) is that we should pray. We must pray for our leaders. We must pray and wish our leaders well. But then, our leaders must remember that they have a day and time of God and that they also have a date and time with our electorates because the people voted us and these people that voted us must be adequately respected. I’m shy because of the 57,000 votes I received in AMAC and I can only appoint less than a fraction that cannot even be appreciated by me for my people.
If I hadn’t been elected I can’t even appoint. So therefore I appreciate my voters and I will continue to ensure that I submit myself to them. That is my position and by the grace of God, ot is going to be well.
For anyone who says that we are sleeping, I think for me this is my second term and if I was sleeping from my first term then I might not have been elected again. But I will charge my colleagues, we are not going to do all we can, if we relax, so so we must not relent in ensuring the rapid development of our people. Nobody is the master of everything and so we can only do the little we can and by the grace of God we will deliver.