The Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA), an indigenous association in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has called upon President Goodluck Jonathan to reject the “Greek gift” given him last week by Bala Mohammed, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
Commissioning new new districts in the area last Thursday, the Minister named said that the extension of the Maitama District would now be known as “Goodluck Jonathan District.”
In a statement signed by its President, Danladi Jeji, OIDA described the gesture as being no more than Mohammed’s attempt “to win the President’s heart with praises so that he can maintain his ministerial seat in the impending cabinet reshuffle” that were recently speculated upon in the news media, noting that it was done without due consultation with the indigenous people of the FCT, other Nigerians resident in the territory or their National Assembly representatives.
“While we are not against the person of the president, nevertheless we see the hasty renaming of this new district without due consultation as a misuse and abuse of executive powers,” the association said.
OIDA further said, “While responding to criticism against the public outrage from opposition parties, the media and elder statesmen over the renaming of the new district, the Minister’s Special Adviser on Media, Nosike Ogbuenyi in a publication posited that the Minister’s action was “a spontaneous and altruistic action” and we beg to ask: what is the altruism in a President having a district or an edifice named after him by his minister while he is still in power and while the constitution says he is the de facto political head of such a state/territory?
Do we have any evidence of such actions in the past where Nigerian Presidents allowed their appointees to willingly name communities after themselves? In fact, even the military governments never tried that. Is the minister not aware of what happened to Prince Abubakar Audu University, which was named by the former governor after himself while in power, only for it to be reverted back to Kogi State University by other successive governments?”