Stakeholders insist on unity status, aesthetics of Abuja
By Ben Adoga
The need to maintain the unity status of Abuja as home for all Nigerians and the aesthetics of the city as conceived by the founding fathers with modifications came to the fore recently in Abuja.
This was at the Executive Hall of the International Conference Centre, ICC, Abuja when stakeholders, drawn from past ministers of the territory, senators, traditional rulers and top leadership of the FCT Administration, among others, gathered for a book launch titled: “Abuja: The Evolution and Development of a Federal Capital City.”
The book is authored by Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, a serving acting director, reform coordination and service enhancement.
Presenting the book, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, noted that over the years, the FCT had continued to evolve into one of the beautiful cities in the world, in line with the expectations and dreams of its founding fathers.
Bello, who was represented by his chief of staff, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, noted that the publication of the book would serve as a reminder to the symbol of the FCT, which was founded on February 6, 1976.
Similarly, the FCT minister of state, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, reiterated that Abuja had grown from the sparsely-populated wooded savannah that was declared the seat of the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1976, into a beautiful city of millions today.
Represented by the FCT permanent secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, the minister noted that the challenges of over-population, inadequate infrastructure, social services, dwindling livability indicators and worrying levels of criminality were threatening to derail the dream of the founding fathers.
According to her: ” In recommending the book as a veritable source of insight into how Abuja is evolving, I have no doubt that the experiences contained therein will enrich our knowledge of the evolution and development of one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
Speaking on behalf of former FCT ministers, Engr Mohammed Abba Gana, who served as FCT minister, 2001 to 2003, said Abuja had succeeded beyond all expectations of its status as the FCT with the mantra of unity, multi ethnic and religious as well as other social outlook in just 45 years of its existence.
He added that Abuja had stood the test of time, as the decision to create a new FCT had enjoyed the support of Nigerians, especially its status as centre of unity has come to stay.
While giving an overview of the conception and implementation of the Abuja as a new Nigeria’s federal capital, he noted that the current FCT Administration had sustained developmental strides of the ex-ministers of the FCT, through its policy of continuation of projects.
According to him, “the development of Abuja is in historical dimensions; and continuation of projects is the cornerstone of Abuja’s development.”
He added that there was urgent need to create other major cities across the six geopolitical zones in the character of Abuja, in order to boost the integration of Nigerians.
On his part, the book reviewer, Professor Saleh Dauda, explained that the book is divided into five chapters, with each chapter focusing on important historical dimensions of the FCT as an evolution and development of the city.
He opined that the book would foster understanding and essence of the city, especially among the youthful population.
Earlier, chairman at the occasion, Senator Philip Aduda, the FCT lone Senator at the National Assembly, had described the book as a wonderful literature on the vision envisaged to develop the city as the source of exciting memories of the FCT.
Aduda opined that it’s a good reminder to everyone that it’s incumbent on them to support the development and management of the FCT.
The author, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said it was a reflection of her desire to leave a legacy as a civil servant.
“The book is part my humble contribution to the development of Abuja, the new FCT,” she stated.