At least 19 persons were on Thursday abducted in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja.
This incident occurred only a few days after 30 persons lost their lives in a landslide caused by the actions of illegal miners in the Kuje area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This information was disclosed on Thursday during an inaugural meeting between the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, and the six Area Council chairpersons.
The minister, taken aback by the unfolding situation, expressed his intention to call upon the FCT Director of State Security Services and the Commissioner of Police to provide detailed briefings on the kidnapping incident and to expedite rescue operations.
Wike instructed the council chairmen to establish surveillance task forces in their respective areas to oversee mining operations, adding that he would meet with the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, with the aim of eradicating illegal mining in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Furthermore, the Minister of State in the FCT, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, and the Permanent Secretary in the FCTA, Mr. Olusade Adesola, affirmed the FCT Administration’s eagerness to maintain collaborative efforts with the local councils to promote equitable development in the Territory.
Addressing the difficulties faced by the Area Councils, Danladi Chiya, the Chairman of the Kwali Area Council, appealed to both the Minister and the Minister of State for their assistance.
“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 (Thursday), 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 do not even know. Your graveyards and worship centres would be allocated and we are saying that we should be carried along in terms of land allocation,” Chiya added.