Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 'Amac Needs Three Things to Develop'

interview

Abdullahi Adamu was a councillor and secretary at various times in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). He is currently contesting for the council chairmanship seat on the CPC platform. He bares his mind on why he wants to be AMAC chairman. Excerpts:

What motivated you to contest for the AMAC chairmanship seat?

I got motivated to contest the position of AMAC chairman because of the burning desire to serve the great people of the Area Council. I was motivated by the fact that when you look at what the past governments contributed, it failed below the expectations of the people.

As someone who was one part of the system, I felt it is better for people who have the capacity to effect development and growth of the people to come in; that was one of the main reasons that motivated me to for the post. I want to contribute my quota.

Some say you couldn't influence decisions when you part of the executive. How do you think you can do that now?

Yes, I was a councillor, but a councillor in those days was more or less part of the executive, we were elected as councillors and part of the Executive, go to my ward; you will physically see what my office as a councillor influenced as development. I influenced a lot of things in my own ward.

To date, it is exactly what I was able to do from 1999 to 2004 as a councillor that can be physically seen in Jiwa ward. I was able to influence development through lobby. I lobbied the chairman then; and I was able to bring about development in my own ward.

When I became the secretary, I could only minute on what the chairman wants. I only sign identification letters; I didn't have the power to do anything other than to append my initials on the indigene certificates, residence certificates and what have you.

What do you think has not been done in AMAC, which you now want to do?

The first thing is education. It is a slap on the faces of the indigenes of AMAC and every other person who lives here; they all have every right to ask for what is being given to AMAC. It's unfortunate that a child who goes to university today in the area is only given N10,000 scholarship; a child who is supposed to be motivated adequately with funds that will equip him to attend lessons and face the challenges of education is only given that amount as scholarship; I see that as a slap, and we must change from that pattern.

In this case, what I intend to do is to give reasonable amount of funds to our student who are in tertiary institutions and even the secondary schools. I wouldn't mind to give a child the sum of N50,000, N70,000 or N100,000 as scholarship. This is going to be subdivided into academic sessions. We can do it twice in a year instead of just once in a year.

Secondly, I intend to establish a comprehensive school for the gifted with the name 'AMAC School for the Gifted.' We'll locate at least five to seven children from the localities in the area council, identify the best, bring them in a closed circuit, put a structure on ground, a boarding facility school, where it will be equipped with all the state-of-art facilities that have to do with education and then bring best of hands as teachers and develop the children in the arts or sciences related subjects.

We're going to also empower our youths who have graduated from the university without job. We're going to establish three comprehensive vocational centres that cut across the 12 wards.

Third is infrastructure; AMAC is mostly a city, but we have rural areas. The political constituencies of the council are 12, out of which about six are within the villages. So, we intend to give a facelift and a link to make the rural wards look a bit similar to the city.

Some allege they are being treated as second class citizens in FCT, while some consider themselves as majority; what do you have to say on that?

I believe you when you said some people are categorizing themselves as majority and some as minority; it's true. It's unfortunate that it has happened years back, but I think from this election, Nigerians will come to terms with the reality. The majority, as far as we're concerned know themselves, and the minority too know themselves, but with the influx of people into the FCT today, hardly can you point to a particular section of the community and say this is the majority, simply because if you see yourself as the majority, if I link my own minority with the other minority and so on we become majority.

So, the issue of majority and minority I think should begin to be of the past memory.

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