The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has reacted to the death of 30 persons killed in a landslide caused by the activities of illegal miners in the Kuje Area Council of the FCT.
Goldennewsng learnt that 19 persons were also kidnapped on Thursday in Bwari Area Council of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
The council area chairman disclosed this during a meeting between Wike and six Area Councils Chairmen.
Speaking on the challenges confronting the councils, Kwali Area Council Chairman, Danladi Chiya said insecurity is ravaging the six area councils, and there is inadequate funding for the local government system.
While urging the Minister to come to their aid, Chiya also raised the issue of land allocation and the responsibilities of primary school teachers, among others.
He said: “When we heard about your appointment, we were happy because you have been a council chairman and, therefore, understand our challenges. Our challenges are inadequate funding of the local government system.
“We have the major challenge of insecurity across the six Area Councils. Just today (yesterday), about 19 people were kidnapped in Bwari Area Council. I just received about five in my council, who were in captivity for about six days.
“The next is the development of satellite towns. The issue of sanitation is one of the major challenges confronting us. There is also no efficient transport facility. The Abuja Urban Mass transit buses are no longer functional.
Then there is the issue of land allocation. You sit in your council and your backyard will be allocated to someone you don’t even know. Your graveyards and worship centres would be allocated and we are saying that we should be carried along regarding land allocation.
“The responsibility of primary school teachers is on the local governments. The UBE’s payment of salaries lies on the council, which by law is supposed to be the 60-40 percent. We are pleading that you help us so that this issue can be looked into.”
Reacting to the issues, Wike said as a former council chairman, he understood their predicament and promised to address them.
He asked the council chairmen to set up a surveillance task force in their areas to monitor mining activities, adding that he would meet with his counterpart in Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, to eliminate illegal mining in the FCT.
He said: “Insecurity is a major problem all over and those of you who are outside the municipality, you have to work hard. Information is key.
The incident of kidnap you talked about, nobody has reported that to me. It is a serious issue and we need to call an emergency security meeting. I have to call the Director of DSS and the CP now to give me details because it is very embarrassing to me. Though, I am happy you said the DSS official and the DPO in the affected council are informed and on the situation.
“On sanitation, we have a problem. Sanitation is a big issue. It is the duty of the council not just to collect the fees but to dispose refuse. We have to sit down and work together on this by adopting a common template.
“On illegal mining, I will talk to the Minister. Ordinarily, I would say you should also form your own surveillance taskforce as Chief Security Officers of your councils and make arrests and we will support you. However, I will meet with the Minister.”