Ireti Kingibe, the Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), issued a stern warning to the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, cautioning him against performing his duties without the oversight of the National Assembly.
Kingibe emphasized that Wike lacks executive powers and must strictly adhere to the constitutional framework established by the country’s legislative branch.
Speaking at a press conference following her victory confirmation by the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for the February 25 polls, Senator Kingibe stated, “It’s important to remember that the FCT minister – as far as I know, we’ve had one former governor serve as minister – may think that, as the FCT minister, he possesses executive powers. However, the minister collaborates closely with the National Assembly and the President to govern the FCT.”
She also criticized Wike’s recent appointment and inauguration of mandate secretaries for the FCTA, asserting that they should undergo screening by federal lawmakers.
Senator Kingibe further explained that the National Assembly serves the legislative functions for the FCTA, similar to how state Houses of Assembly operate for state governments. “The National Assembly is responsible for screening them, much like state commissioners are screened by state assemblies before their inauguration,” she emphasized.
Addressing Wike’s relative newness to the FCT, Kingibe urged that he be guided in fulfilling his role as the FCT Minister, acknowledging the differences in their respective responsibilities.
She commented, “We have different roles; I was elected by the people, so I’m accountable to the people of the FCT, but he is not. However, by working together, I hope we can align our interests. I cannot impose myself on the minister. You must remember that the Senate is currently in recess, and I’m a lawmaker who hasn’t been present. Therefore, approvals cannot be obtained from a non-functioning legislative body.”
Senator Kingibe also discussed the issue of potential demolitions in the FCT, acknowledging that there are various problems in the area, such as flooding due to construction on flood channels and flood plains. She stressed the need to address these issues.
Regarding the status of the FCT, she mentioned that Abuja’s residents were aware of the Presidential Election Petition Court’s ruling that the FCT cannot have a special status. She indicated that any changes to this status would only be pursued after the matter is resolved in the Supreme Court.
In conclusion, Senator Kingibe emphasized her commitment to safeguarding the welfare and interests of the people in the FCT and ensuring responsible development in the region.