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FCTA warns miscreants not to cause a schism between Wike, the PS, and the CSOs.



Some Abuja-based civil society organisations have warned mischief-makers to let the Federal Capital Territory FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, get back to work rather than sowing seeds of discord between him and the Administration’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, by twisting facts and figures.

The warning was issued by two organisations, Pro-Impact Initiative and Vanguard for Justice and Equity, at separate press conferences in Abuja on Sunday.

According to Vanguard, some online reports claimed that the permanent secretary embarked on massive capital projects against presidential directive, recruited over 10,000 staff into the system, and allocated choice lands to members of his family when he held sway briefly before Wike’s assumption of office, among other malicious and unfounded allegations.

However, at a news conference on Sunday in Abuja, Comrade Martins Obiora, Coordinator of Vanguard for Justice and Equity, and Dr Osamudiamen Isokpehi, Coordinator of Pro-Impact Initiative, expressed shock at the “web of lies conjured from the reporters’ imagination in a desperate attempt to get rid of the permanent secretary who has done nothing but operate within the dictates of the civil service rules.”

Obiora characterised reports of “the permanent secretary using his powers to allocate lands in Guzape, Apo, Asokoro Extension, and other highbrow places to the Head of Service, those related to the Head of Service, and all the Permanent Secretaries” as unfortunate and calculated to cause a schism and paint Mr. Adesola in a negative light.

In response to the claims, the organisation called the report a “unenlightened dish of lies,” emphasising that no permanent secretary has the authority to grant land in Abuja under the statutes creating the FCTA.

“It is a well-known fact that the president delegated to the minister the authority to allocate land in any part of the territory, and neither the minister of state nor the permanent secretary has such authority.” As a result, such supposition is ludicrous and stretching the imagination,” he emphasised.

Obiora and Isokpehi both denied reports that over 10,000 people were hired to increase the FCTA workforce from 30,000 to 40, 000 in three years, with the “majority of the employees including Jehovah Witnesses, where the permanent secretary worships, and those from his village.”

“To clarify, the permanent secretary met a workforce of 32,703 as of December 2020.” In December 2021, the personnel count was 32,547; in December 2022, the staff count was 31,860; and in August 2023, the staff count was 32,201. These numbers can be verified by contacting Human Resources Management. “Playing ethnic or religious cards will not obscure the fundamental truth,” the organisations stated.

While answering reporters’ questions about why the permanent secretary allegedly usurped the powers of the Director of Treasury, reducing the administration’s revenue, as claimed in the report, Obiora stated that the permanent secretary, as an accounting officer of the administration, is responsible for knowing the inflow and outflow of all monies.

“Many people, including those who sponsored the poorly conceived job,” he claims, “do not know the functions and responsibilities of the permanent secretary.” He is the chief accounting officer, and he is in charge of overseeing the administration’s financial management.

“And, as a result of prudent resource management, the incumbent permanent secretary has increased revenue generation from less than N120 billion in 2020 to more than N180 billion in 2023.”

Dr. Osamudiamen Isokpehi, Coordinator, Pro-Impact Initiative, for his part, urged fifth columnists not to distract Mr Wike, who has left no one in doubt about his noble intentions to cleanse the city of illegalities and assure significant infrastructural development since day one.

Dr Isokpehi, who was replying to a write-up attributed to one Babalola Tajudeen and seeking the sack and arrest of the FCT Permanent Secretary, stated that after examining the write-up, his organisation decided to disregard it, but determined to answer for the benefit of well-meaning locals.

According to him, contrary to the’satanic fiction’ that Mr Olusade engineered the ouster of his predecessor, Sir Christian Ohaa, with whom he still has a friendly connection, he was appointed to the FCTA amid a significant reshuffle of Permanent Secretaries sanctioned by the then President.

He recalled how, on August 28, 2020, then-President Muhammadu Buhari redeployed Sir Ohaa from the FCTA to the Ministry of Power and transferred Olusade to the FCTA as part of an exercise that saw the redeployment of 13 permanent secretaries and the deployment of the 12 new permanent secretaries who had been sworn in two days earlier.

According to him, the posting was contained in a circular signed by the Federation’s Head of Civil Service, Folasade Yemi-Esan.

The circular is dated August 28, 2020 and is labelled HCSF/CMO/AOD/012/V.III/39.

“We strongly believe that it was these same elements who never gave Sir Christian Ohaa peace during his tenure as permanent secretary, as they dragged him to Berekete Radio and continued to write a series of petitions against him when the former minister, Muhammed Musa Bello, was reappointed in 2019,” he said. Not to mention that they falsely accused Sir Ohaa of employing solely Enugu state relatives, which was easily refuted. They also requested his dismissal and that he be investigated. They are now on another mission to accomplish what they do best.”

“According to the records, the staff strength was initially 32,703 in December 2020, increased to 32,831 in June 2021, and steadily decreased with efficiency to 32,201 by August this year.”

He emphasised that the FCTA administration is too complex for anyone, whether the president of the country or the minister in charge of it, to employ mostly people from his village, state, area, or religion group, as the ‘crafters of fallacies’ claim.

Speaking on the reported granting of a multibillion naira contract, Dr Isokpehi stated, “the writer’s or his paymasters’ ignorance was too obvious as contracts from N100 million and above are presented via Memos to the Federal Executive Council for approval by the minister.” A permanent secretary would never grant such a contract (or contracts).” He argued that the only thing the permanent secretary did between when the former minister left and when Mr Wike took over was keep Abuja operating, which did not sit well with those who wanted the city to grind to a standstill.

On revenue harmonization between FCTA and the Territory’s Six Area Councils, he claimed that “even the blind know that issues of multiple taxation and unauthorized tax collectors and consultants across the city have been a major challenge.” As a result, the permanent secretary took action to resolve the issue, and he deserves praise. Unfortunately, people who see no value in honorable efforts are demanding for his head. According to reports, revenue generation has increased, leakages have been stopped, and tax collection has become more orderly.

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