Hon Sam Bassey is a chairmanship candidate for Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in the forth coming area council poll under the platform of Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). In this interview with DAVID ADUGE-ANI, he speaks on his plans.
What motivated you into vying for AMAC chairmanship position?
Yes, you know that I am a kind of indigene, as far as FCT is concerned. Even though I am from Akwa Ibom State, but I came into Abuja in 1997. I actually finished by secondary and university education in Abuja. I attended Government Secondary School, Garki-Abuja and also the University of Abuja.
And so between 1997 to date, I have taken time to study everything about the FCT, not just AMAC. There is no village in FCT that I have not been to, and there is area council in FCT that I have not been to.
So I know most of their problems and it has been a heart desire for me to help the people. Because having mixed up with I know what they need. I have discovered that even though they have been part of the government at some point, there has not been any kind of improvement in their people. I also discovered that the elites just get to government and forget their people. Sometime you need your brother to help you, because an outsider can help you. So I have looked at the plight of Abuja people. I have taken some case studies of some areas and discovered a lot of lapses, especially in AMAC.
My project in the University was on Nyanya community and I also took the case study of Kurudu community. The Kurudu people, to say is a mixed up of Gwandara, Gbagyi and other tribes, but these people have been suffering for years. Between Karshi and Jukwoyi, there is no secondary school, there is no medical centre.
So, when a child finishes from a primary school education in Gbeggi, Gidamangoro communities and so on, he/she needs to go as far as Garki or Karshi or Karu to attend secondary school. That is why we are asking if we don’t have councilors, chairman and other elected officials in these communities to address this problem. Why can’t they do something for these communities?
Talking of medical services, there is no hospital in these communities, as we speak. If somebody is sick today in these communities, he/she has to be rushed to Karshi community or Nyanya for treatment. So, between Nyanya, there is no hospital or any health care. And even the one they have in Kurudu community is already dead. These have been cries of residents and indigenes of these communities. There is no pipe borne water in these communities, as we speak.
So, I believe that if I come to power, everyone that has borehole, I will set up a committee to monitor them. I have not seen any government coming up to monitor those who have boreholes, to check the quality of the water.
My concern is that why can’t the elected officials see the cry of these people. Again in Kabusa ward, there are some villages, such as Piakassa, Ketti, Kabusa itself, Sheritti, Lokongoma, Galadimawa, Aleita and Chika. If you are going to Ketti from Piakassa, the road is bad. Also, if you are coming from Kabusa, the road is terrible.
So that is why I looked at the whole thing and said what is wrong with these people. They need a change, especially somebody who is closer to the people and somebody who knows the cry of the people.
I believe that should be a city on itself, because I believe that AMAC should be well developed like any other city, because the government in power in AMAC. I don’t think AMAC should be under developed. I don’t believe that AMAC should be living in the 1960 era. I believe that AMAC should be transformed by now.
What are you going to do differently if elected into office in 2019?
As I said earlier, in my case study, all the 12 wards in AMAC have challenges. For instance, looking at Gwarimpa ward, you will discover that some landlords building houses in the area without toilets. Others even build without the control of drainage systems. I believe that before any one erect a building, he must map out the drainage system first, to channel the water to. So, I will take care of environment and sanitation, and also ensure that there is upgrading in power supply, as well as youth empowerment.
I have a 9-point agenda, which include youth empowerment, health, housing development, power, waste management, education, women empowerment, improvement water supply and security.
The youth empowerment programme shall be done through AMAC enterprise and empowerment scheme. Also, skills acquisition centres will be built and equipped in all the 12 wards in AMAC. We shall encourage yearly sport festivals in AMAC within the 12 wards.
Also, there will be entrepreneurial partnership with nongovernmental institutions and financial institutions to create, mentor and established businesses which would provide employment, as well as provide free IT and driving training centres in all the 12 AMAC wards. We shall improve health care centers and equip them, as well as build world class health centres in three wards namely Kabusa, GUI and Orozo, just as we be providing quality medical services to all thereby reducing mortality and morbidity in AMAC
Under housing development, we shall private sector participation on housing development; while there will be improvement in electricity distribution. In waste management, we shall encourage private companies in waste collection and disposal in the AMAC wards. Organic fertilizers will be generated from the recycling of these wastes.
In our education programme, we will provide the real protection which is education and make training a priority, this in addition to skills acquisition centres where women can be thought how plate hair, cook, design clothes and spa treatments. Widows’ skills centres will be provided in the 12 AMAC wards do as to orient and shape their skills for future challenges. Women will play a remarkable role in our administration.
We are equally partnering with private sector and NGO’s to enhance potable drinking water for public consumption and to provide good water supply in all rural area of AMAC wards. We shall initiate a strong partnership with the major stakeholders in the area security namely indigene and the security agencies, just as community policing units shall be encouraged and adequate confidentiality of information and special security provisions.
Tell us about Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)…
Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is a party that was constituted by some intellectual clergies and trusted Nigerians, both Christians and Muslims and also other unions, who felt that Nigeria must be protected. It is a team up work, because in our party, we have Sheiks, bishops and so on.
One thing about Nigeria today is that we need freedom and justice, which has been lacking in today’s Nigerian institutions. So, that aspect of freedom and justice has been something of yesterday, which has been lacking today. So, on that platform, we see the need to bring together people of integrity, people with good accountability. That is where we are coming from.
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