By Salisu Sani-Idris
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, called on the residents of the territory to participate in the 2023 General Elections in peace, unity and togetherness.
Bello, who made the call in his new year message to the residents on Sunday in Abuja, also enjoined them to resist any attempt to cause disharmony and disaffection within their ranks.
The minister stated that elections in the FCT had always been peaceful, ” Let us ensure that the upcoming 2023 polls also reflect this.
” On behalf of the FCT Administration, it is my honour and immense pleasure to wish all residents of the Federal Capital Territory a very happy and prosperous New Year.
” As we begin our journey into 2023, which holds a very important place in the democratic development of our country, I wish to applaud residents of the territory for your exemplary conduct in our collective quest of building a befitting capital territory for our country.”
He also lauded the residents for holding true to the principles of unity and peaceful co-existence which is the foundation on which the FCT is grounded.
” In my 2022 New Year message, I enjoined residents of the territory to participate actively in the Area Council elections. I once more commend you all for abiding by the democratic and lawful processes in the election of the council chairmen.
” Once again, I call on all of us, in the same spirit of peace, unity and togetherness, to participate in the 2023 general elections coming up next month.”
Bello said that the residents were obliged to live up to the ideals of the founding fathers of the territory as a place where every Nigerian could call home.
” We must therefore, collectively resist any attempt to cause disharmony and disaffection within our ranks. Elections in the FCT have always been peaceful. Let us ensure that the upcoming 2023 polls also reflect this.
” In the preceding year, the FCT Administration consolidated on its efforts of providing world class infrastructure for the territory with efforts to complete on-going projects and investing heavily in the maintenance and upgrading of existing ones.
” It is to our credit that despite the heavy rainfalls and attendant floods that devastated several parts of the country, we were largely spared this misfortune. This is because, having learnt from our experiences in the past, adequate measures were taken to prevent any such re-occurrence.”
Bello, who appreciated the residents for their understanding despite the discomforts they must have endured in the course of remedial measures, called for their continuous support and cooperation.
The minister solicited the cooperation and support of the residents in the task of removing illegal structures and settlements within the city both for security purposes and maintaining the sanctity of the Abuja Masterplan.
” It must be understood that these corrective measures are absolutely essential if truly our city is to evolve into one of the most aesthetically pleasing and functional cities in the world.
” The presence of illegal settlements and shanties will only draw us further away from attaining this goal.
” Fellow residents, we are confronted daily with the unwholesome and unpatriotic activities of vandals who wantonly destroy or steal public infrastructure installed by government at great cost.
” Replacing or repairing these critical infrastructure cost a lot of money which otherwise would have been invested in other equally essential projects.”
Bello, therefore, enjoined residents to treat critical public infrastructure as they would treat their personal property and help to protect all public assets located within their vicinity.
He commended the security agencies in the FCT for their tremendous work in ensuring the safety of lives and property within the territory as the incidences of violent crimes had declined over the past few months.
” Some of these gallant men and women who have seen to this possibility have even paid the ultimate price in the course of discharging their responsibilities.
” I wish to reassure them of the continuous support of the Administration as demonstrated with the provision of 60 high-capacity vehicles in addition to accompanying security and communication equipment last year.
” We will continue to support them in every way possible and also enjoin the citizenry to cooperate with our law enforcement agencies whenever the need arises.”
He reminded the residents that the maintenance of security was the responsibility of all and reiterated the mantra of ‘saying something when you see something’.
Bello said that the FCT Administration was committed to sustaining the growth and development of the territory despite the challenges of dwindling financial resources and the ever increasing population.
According to him, the administration is evolving new strategies to meet its financial obligations in line with growing demands.
” The creation of the Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and Public Private Partnership Secretariat and the upscaling of the functions of the FCT IRS are but two of the measures taken to shore up our revenue base to meet our needs.
” Residents are therefore enjoined to also play their part by being up to date in the payment of their taxes to enable us to continue to serve you better.
” Fellow residents, I wish to assure you that over the next five months heralding the end of the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the FCT Administration will not relent in its efforts of ensuring the development of the territory and the well-being of its residents.
” I once more wish you all a happy and prosperous 2023.” (NAN)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman