Ireti Kingibe, Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has warned the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to desist from working without the supervision of the National Assembly.
Kingibe said Wike does not have the executive powers but must operate within the constitutional frameworks of the country’s legislative arm.
The FCT senator said this while addressing a press conference after the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal upheld her victory in the February 25 polls.
Kingibe said, “You also have to remember that the minister of the FCT – I’m not sure we have had a former governor as minister, I think we have had one. Some [former] governors may think that as FCT minister… the minister does not have executive powers. He works hand-in-hand with the National Assembly and the president to administer FCT.”
She also faulted the recent appointment and inauguration of the mandate secretaries of the FCTA by Wike, saying they were supposed to be screened by federal lawmakers.
According to her, the National Assembly would serve the legislative duties to the FCTA as the state Houses of Assembly does to the state governments, adding that as state assemblies were to the states, so was the FCTA to the National Assembly.
“The National Assembly has the duties to screen them as the state houses of assembly usually screen the state commissioners before they would be sworn in,” she stated.
Kingibe said Wike was new to the FCT and therefore, needed to be guided to discharge his duties as the FCT Minister.
She said, “You must remember that the minister and I have different goals. I was elected by the people, so, I’m answerable to you the people of the FCT, he is not. But working together, I hope we can merge our interests.
“I cannot force myself on the minister. You have to remember that and the senate is in recess. I am a lawmaker. I have not been around. So, they are not approving anything, you cannot get approval from a house that is not sitting.
“Yesterday night, the election tribunal affirmed my election as duly elected senator of the federal capital territory. I feel a great sense of relief that I can now start facing the work the people of the FCT elected me to do. First, I would like to thank the best legal team, the best lawyers anybody could have. I’m really blessed to have had them
“I have been engrossed in my case and the minister is new. We have not met. We spoke for the first time today (Tuesday) when he called to congratulate me and we assured each other that we would work together.”
Speaking on threats of demolitions in the FCT, Senator Kingibe said, “For one thing, I’m not telling you that there would not be demolitions. There are many problems within the FCT. Look at the flooding taking place in FCT, why? Houses are being built on flood channels, permission are being given to people to build estates on flood plains. There are so many things that we need to fix.”
Citing the building on the green areas and water ways, using the Trademore estate as an example, the senator said such would not be allowed to continue, but added that the welfare and interest of the people in the FCT would be protected.
She said the Abuja indigenes were aware of the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that the FCT cannot enjoy a special status.
“After the matter has been disposed of at the Supreme Court and if the same position is maintained, then we will agitate for a governor, three senators and other status of a state, but for now, let the matter remain as it is,” she added.