The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has said his principal, President Bola Tinubu, has no plan whatsoever to move the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from Abuja back to Lagos.
According to Onanuga, the rumour making the rounds concerning such movement first surfaced during the 2023 election campaign by opponents looking for all manners of weapons to stop him but was trashed.
“Those peddling it anew are dishonest, ethnic and regional champions, trying to draw attention to themselves. Abuja has come to stay. It is backed by law,” Onanuga said in a post on X on Wednesday.
The statement continued, “The movement of FAAN, a department of Aviation Ministry to Lagos, where it was based before former minister Hadi Sirika moved it to Abuja during the last administration, does not amount to moving the FCT to Lagos. The administrative move should have attracted scant attention, as Lagos is the commercial capital and the hub of aviation business in Nigeria. FAAN should be no where else but near the industry it regulates. FAAN will still maintain some presence in Abuja, as it is not a wholesale movement.
“Similarly, the movement of some departments of the CBN to Lagos should not trigger any hoopla. The departments concerned, including the bank supervision department, are those dealing with commercial banks, all with headquarters in Lagos. A regulator ought to be close to the businesses it regulates.
“All those pushing this campaign of falsehood know they are playing politics, albeit a dangerous politics to pit the North against the South.
“There are many parastatals that are not based in Abuja depending on their mandate. NIMASA is in Lagos. So is NPA. National Inland Waterways Authority( NIWA) is in Lokoja, not Abuja. Will the people opposing the movement of FAAN and some CBN departments want those agencies to be in Abuja, where there is no single port and no maritime activity?
“Administrative decisions should not be politicized. Let it not look like whenever we are temporarily not at the helm of affairs, we create all manners of dangerous rumours to distract from the bigger picture and emasculate an administration led by a southerner.
“Let’s stop the dirty politics. We can’t be playing politics with everything.”