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Wike To Meet Herdsmen Over Open Grazing In Abuja, Gives New Directive

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, says the FCT Administration will take a firm decision on commercial motorcycle operators when buses are provided as alternatives adding also that he was set to meet with leaders of herdsmen to address the issue of cattle grazing in the capital city.

Wike, who stated these while fielding questions from journalists after inspecting some road projects in Abuja on Saturday, acknowledged the ban of commercial motorcycles from operating within the city centre.

He, however, said that he was yet to take a firm decision on the violators because FCTA was yet to provide buses as alternative means of transportation within the city.

“We did not take a firm decision because we have not been able to provide the buses that will be the alternative for the people.

“It is within the government’s responsibility to provide the alternative and then ask the motorcycle operators to leave the city centre.

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“This is so that you don’t ask them to leave, and people will be suffering; no,” he said.

On the problem of open grazing in Abuja, the minister said that the issue would be addressed after due consultation with the herdsmen.

He said that cows would be allowed to graze in the suburbs but not in the city centre.

“Before we take any decision, we will do proper consultation so that nobody will say you never alerted them, you never interacted with them before you took that decision.

“We are going to call the cattle people to sit with them. We cannot allow things to go on like this. We didn’t say that there will be no cattle in Abuja, but within the city.

“Like I said, we will take it one after the other.

“You know Nigerians are used to “nothing will happen”. Just like when we talk about land revocation and payment of ground rent, and people say it will not happen, but it has happened.

“Even you (journalists), disseminating the information, you must disseminate the information in such a way that you are not trying to cause crises between the government and members of the public,” Wike said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the projects visited were the completion of Roads B6, B12 and Circle Road in Central Area and the rehabilitation of the Federal Secretariat, being handled by Julius Berger.

The minister also inspected the construction of the southern Parkway from Christian Centre (S8/9) to Ring Road 1, being handled by Setraco and the expansion of the outer Southern Expressway being handled by CGC.

The project spanned from Villa Roundabout to OSEX/Ring Road 1 Junction, including four interchanges.

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