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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

30 killed and 19 others kidnapped as Wike meets council chairmen in Abuja

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No fewer than nineteen persons were kidnapped in the Bwari area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Wednesday.

Days before this incident, about 30 people were killed in a landslide said to have been caused by the activities of illegal miners in the Kuje area council.

This was disclosed at a maiden meeting between the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, and the six area councils chairmen on Thursday, September 7, 2023.

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The minister, who was miffed at the developments said he would summon the FCT director of Department of State Services as well as the commissioner of police to receive adequate briefings on the kidnap and facilitate rescue operations.

He asked the council bosses to set up surveillance task force in their areas to monitor mining activities, adding that he would meet with his counterpart in Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, to eliminate illegal mining in the FCT.


Speaking on the challenges confronting the councils, Kwali Area Council chairman, Danladi Chiya, appealed to the minister and the Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, to come to their aide.

He said: “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 (yesterday), 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 don’t 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.

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“The responsibility of primary school teachers is on the local governments. The UBE’s payment of salaries lies on the council, which by law is supposed to be the 60-40 percent. We are pleading that you help us so that this issue can be looked into.”

The minister promised to look into concerns raised by the chairmen of all the area councils.

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