FCT minister orders end to cattle grazing in Abuja city centre

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Musa Bello, on Friday directed the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and the FCT Task Team on Environment to, as a matter of urgency, get rid of herdsmen still grazing in the Federal Capital city.

He described the act of grazing in the city centre as a “bizarre situation” and directed the two bodies to find a way of dealing with the situation.

The minister equally directed them to stop hawkers using pedestrian bridges in the territory for their commercial activities.

The directives came as the minister ordered any principal of government schools in Abuja who fails to achieve 50 percent success in the 2017 WASSC and NECO exams should honourably resign or risk being sacked.

Speaking at a meeting with school principals in the territory, the minister said that the 30 percent success recorded in the 2016 WAEC and NECO in FCT schools was no longer acceptable.

Bello, who was represented at the meeting by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye insisted that students must achieve at least 50 percent in the next exams or principals of affected schools be penalized.

The minister warned that the FCT Administration will no longer accept excuses of poor infrastructure or inadequate teachers being given as reasons for the poor performance, insisting that school principals must do everything possible to ensure that the situation changed.

He said that it was unthinkable that the FCT, with the largest concentration of elites and which should be setting the pace for other states in terms of academic performance, was churning  out mere 30 percent success in very critical examinations as WAEC and NECO.

Bello also warned principals to desist from charging illegal fees of any sort when provisions were already made through the FCT Secondary Education Board to run the schools, noting that principals who persisted would also attract heavy sanctions from the FCT administration.

“The mandate I will give you that goes with sanction; for this new session, every principal must be determined that for WAEC and NECO in 2017, any principal that does not achieve 50 percent success should just quietly leave that school because the principal is going to be removed. If you don’t achieve 50 percent success in WAEC and NECO 2017, you are no longer fit to be a principal in FCT and I mean it. That is the minimum that we want for every school and you must work towards it,” he told the principals.

He went further to say, ?”We cannot be gathering students and at the end of their final year, all they will have is three credits. I don’t know whether you are proud as a principal that in your school, the success rate is five percent.

“I want principals that will be determined to say in my school, things must change. Infrastructure or no infrastructure, resources or no resources, I want to put myself as a sacrifice and change things.

“That is what I want to do before I leave the service. I want to be known to have done something good for Nigeria?

“My mission is not to come and make you sad but the situation is bad and you know it and we are ready to tackle it. But you must be up and doing too and that is why I said I must call all the principals and talk to you to do the right things. That is what this Administration is about.

“We are ready to put the right things in place. We are ready to work for Nigeria. But we want people that will join us to do this.

“That is why when you come to FCT today, it is not business as usual and we want to send that message down to our institutions,” he said.?

Meanwhile, when the minister paid an unscheduled visit to a pedestrian bridge in Ludge, he warned that hawking and related activities were not acceptable on the pedestrian bridges across the territory and called for stern enforcement.?

He told the AEPB and the taskforce team that the Administration was not prepared to take excuses anymore on why the bridges were being used for illegal activities.

He said, “These expressways are the gateway into the Federal Capital City and the seat of power of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and therefore everything must be done to keep Abuja clean from all environmental nuisances in line with the vision of its founding fathers.”