The CHANGE hurricane that swept away the past administration in 2015 continued its journey in the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] where the All Progressives Congress [APC] swept all the six area councils election but one. Expectedly, the APC standard bearer, Honourable Adamu Candido trashed his closest rival, Bitrus Kura of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in a keenly contested area council’s election on the 13th of April 2016. The election itself had to go into a supplementary contest in three area councils before winners emerged.
It was with high hope and expectations that ushered in the Candido’s administration in the Abuja Municipal Area Council [AMAC] on the 20th of May 2016. So far, the steps taken by Hon. Candido to reposition AMAC appear to be in the right direction. In assembling his kitchen cabinet, nepotism did not play any role; this, to watchers of political events in AMAC is a welcome development. Another area worthy of commending is the general composition of government structure in the council. Unlike what used to be the order of the day, that is, inadequate reflection of the multi-ethnic nature of AMAC in cabinet formation by past administration. This time around, Hon. Candido reflected and respected the Hellenic nature of the council by making sure that the six geo-political zones that make up Nigeria, are represented in his government.
Recognizing that a work force that is not motivated will not be able to give its best, Hon. Candido on assumption of office, had a frank meeting with the staff of AMAC who, according to report are yet to receive three  months salaries. At the meeting, he made a pledge to offset the backlog of salary being owed the workers by the past administration. As a corollary to the meeting with the staff of AMAC and in a gesture of honest solidarity, Hon. Camdido lobbied his cabinet members to join him in forfeiting a month salary of theirs in an effort to raise money for the council workers.
It has been argued that AMAC’s Internally Generated Revenue [IGR] should be enough to take care of at least one third of the salary of AMAC workers. However, experts are of the view that the only way the IGR of AMAC could not adequately argument monthly allocation from federation account, is if, the staff strength is over blotted. Now that Hon. Candido led administration is to embark on forensic staff audit to ascertain the actual staff strength in the council, it is expected that ghost workers would be identified. It is imperative to extend the same forensic audit to primary school teachers within AMAC. This will ensure that ghost schools and teachers do not exist. Even market audit could be done if necessary, with the same intention of fishing out ghost market staff. Health care centers within AMAC may also be audited to know if ghost workers and centers exist.
Many financial experts have argued that AMAC could survive on its own without subvention from federal government if it is allowed to collect what is due to her as IGR without interference from Federal Capital Territory Development Authority [FCTDA]. It is by this fact that Hon Candido led AMAC should setup a high powered committee made-up of Financial, Legal and Political experts that will creatively explore AMAC with the aim of increasing the IGR of the council without necessarily inflicting pains on the people. This committee may also engage the authorities in FCTDA with a view to impressing it on them to give back to the council, the markets and other revenue generating institutions which the previous administration forcefully collected from the council.
On the political front, Hon. Candido is implored to be magnanimous in victory. The events leading to the council’s elections, particularly, after the primary elections unfortunately led to camps and divisions within the rank of All Progressives Party [APC] in AMAC and some other council in FCT. Although, the minister of FCT made attempt to reconcile everybody back to one camp for the purpose of the area council elections, but much still depends on Hon. Candido in the area of ensuring a win- win situation for everybody irrespective of the camp one previously belonged. One way of ensuring this is the integration of some members of the other camps into his administration. By this, everybody would have been seen to have been carried along in the scheme of things in AMAC APC and Hon. Candido would have been seen as a true compassionate leader.
So far, Hon. Candido has taken giant step in repositioning AMAC for greater service delivery to the people of the council. With what is being witnessed, he appears to be equal to the task of governance in the council. However, as a seasoned politician, Candido must be aware that for him to achieve a new height in AMAC, he must remain focused on the task before him. He must have zero tolerance for distractions. He must be accommodating. Above all, Candido must know that as far as AMAC is concerned, he is the only one God in heaven recognizes as his servant to provide leadership.
Information Management Consultant & political Researcher
Wrote in from Garki-Abuja.
Mobile: 08056031187, 09039094636.