Abuja is divided into districts and the districts are grouped into four different development phases. The first phase is made of districts that are fully developed in terms of infrastructure, such Asokoro District, Central Business District with the exception of Guzape District.
Wuye is among other districts including Gudu, Durumi, Utako, Jabi in the phase, which the authorities said are highly developed while others are being developed. But recent check by our reporter around the district sandwiched by Jabi and Wuse districts, reveals government neglect as residents rely on private businesses.
The district is underlined with estates, businesses, and residential buildings with a reasonable number of residents, who told Aso Chronicle that they are trying to adapt to the absence of basic amenities by sourcing for them through alternative ways.
The absence of the amenities, according to one of the residents, Hajiya Aisha Bello, has put them in problem, leading to the loss of lives.
The district is without basic amenities with only a dilapidated primary school building said to be owned by the Federal Government Boys College, serving as a primary school for residents, which is not known to many of the residents.
The said school with about seven classrooms is unsuitable for learning when our reporter visited. The classrooms are with neither doors nor windows and a wooden door is seen at the front, probably used as chalkboard.
“This is the school they are using temporarily, there is no government school around this place, except in Wuse. This place is not their permanent site, it is meant for Federal Government Boys College, they are just using it temporary,” said Pualina Okoye, another resident.
According to Okoye, the school, which she described as a shame to the government, has been deteriorating since she came to the district about two years ago. She pointed to a box on the veranda of a residential building by the school as the school’s library where registers and other documents are kept. ‘U.B.E Supplementary Readers’ is inscribed on the box.
She added that no place has been allocated to the school as its permanent site.
She said: “There is no other school in the district aside schools owned by individuals. Likewise there is no government hospital in the district, the nearest government owned hospital is the Wuse General Hospital, Wuse.
“The principal [of Federal Government Boys College] gave the primary school to them to use, the principal said they should renovate other rooms and start using them but they did nothing. This is their library, where they keep their files, including the registers, they could not renovate a room to serve that purpose.”
Hajiya Aisha Bello, who stays at Finance Estate within the district, said the unavailability of social amenities has exposed the residents to dangers, including loss of lives. According to her, residents need to cross the Area One/Berger Roundabout expressway before they can access some of the lacking amenities, adding that the uncompleted pedestrian bridge has not helped the situation.
She told Aso Chronicle that the pedestrian bridge, which has witnessed unnecessary setbacks as it is always pulled down whenever an appreciable progress is made, has made crossing the road very difficult.
She said: “Assuming we have those facilities we would not have to go out, we have to cross the road when taking our children to school which has resulted in loss of lives. Even in my block, two people, one young boy, and a woman died while trying to cross the road. The obituary poster of a corps member who died last year while trying to cross has just been removed.”
She said accidents are a regular occurrence on the road as residents risk their lives to seek for basic amenities.
“Two weeks cannot go by without you hearing case of accident on this road,” she said.
According to her, they have to cross the expressway to have access to healthcare, market and school.
According to Suleiman Abdullahi, a roasted beef (suya) seller in the district, the only delapidated school in the community is not well known to the residents. “The school is uncompleted,” he added.
Another resident, who preferred to be addressed as Kabiru, said the water board supplies water to the district, adding that during his one year stay in the district, he is unaware of government amenities aside the water and electricity.
Although Hajiya Bello confirmed the supply of water when she moved into the district in 1996, she said the rise in population has made the quantity of water supplied by the water board insufficient.
“When we moved in 1996, we were having water but later, after people started building houses in the district, the water seized coming and we started sinking our boreholes,” she said.
She said Wuse General Hospital is the nearest to the residents with the expressway posing as a difficult task, calling on the government to provide enough infrastructure in the district in order to alleviate the pains of the residents.
“They should build schools and a market for us,” she said.
According to her, the ultra-modern market in the district has been locked since its completion. She expressed her fear about the ability of low income earners who dominate the district to afford shops at the market.
“The Wuye Ultra-Modern Market does not look as if it is for low income earners, when you build a market you should consider the lowly in the community, I don’t think this market would be for the poor,” she noted.
Another resident, Charles Uba, who is a civil servant, said most of the residents are registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and, therefore, have various hospitals which they can patronise. He, however, berates the absence of health institution in the district, citing its nearness to the city centre and the population of the residents among reasons why the government should provide such amenities.
He said the section of the district where he stays is not connected to the FCT Water Board, adding that “the water from the board is not sufficient, some people are using boreholes.” Continuing, he said, “there are estates around here, we made an effort to connect the water, but because of the expressway, it could not be done.”
Charles condemned the inability of the government to provide the residents with amenities.
He, however, called on the government to consider the district in the area of infrastructure, adding that schools, hospital and potable water top the list of amenities needed in the district.
The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, had in this year’s budget proposal assured that the development of districts within the city centre would be given attention. He said satellite towns would also be opened up and developed to decongest the districts, whose facilities, he stated, have been put under pressure.