By Nathaniel Shaibu
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has insisted that illegal settlements in Abuja and environs will be removed.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary of the FCT, Anthony Ogunleye, on Wednesday, noting that the minister has not disclosed the number of buildings that will be removed.
The statement also denied report that the FCT Minister owned an armoured N300m Lexus LX 600, stating that the vehicle was only a “regular SUV”.
Ogunleye stated that the Minister neither pronounced the number of houses to be demolished nor in what communities the exercise would happen.
The statement read “For the avoidance of doubt, the Minister did not in any of his pronouncements list the areas or the number of illegal houses to be removed, rather his emphasis has always been that illegal settlements and structures would be removed for the greater good of the public.
The Honourable Minister has consistently demonstrated a commitment to responsible urban development and the welfare of the people even while he was the governor of Rivers State, a commitment he has assured residents within the FCT since he assumed office as Minister. The claim that he is orchestrating large-scale demolitions is not only inaccurate but also lacks credibility
He further described as “equally vexing” a report that had stated the Minister would fix Abuja in 6 days, adding that Wike had at no time, said or alluded to the phrase in any way.
The Chief Press Secretary admonished newsmen, bloggers and media outlets to verify information before disseminating them to the public, adding that fabricated stories “only serve to damage the reputation of respected public figures and create unnecessary anxiety amongst the citizenry”.