IT IS no longer news that the board of
Abuja Envionmental Protection Board,
AEPB, has been dissolved by the FCT
minister for non-performance; many
residents of Abuja have complained that
the FCT has bren overtaken by refuse.
This is a good lesson in leadership indeed
indicating that the minister, Mallam
Muhammad Musa Bello is determined to
chart a course different from the old order
of conducting government business and
above all, to clean the territory’s Augean
Apparently conscious of the fact that
impunity had hitherto held sway in
virtually all government establishments
that sentenced this potential (that word
again) great nation to its present sorry
pass, the minister decided to maintain a
reasonable distance from it by insisting that
government business be conducted with
every degree of seriousness, transparency
and accountability.
Irked by the shenanigans prevailing at
AEPB) and its attendant consequences on
the operations of the agency, Mallam Bello
on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016, wielded
the sledge hammer on the Director of
the AEPB, Baba Shehu Lawan, who has
since been replaced by Mrs. Oluwatoyin
Omolola Olanipekun, hitherto the Deputy
Director, Environmental Degradation
& Development Monitoring. The
management team was given the boot for
its woeful failure in keeping the FCT clean.
The gale of removal did stop there as
‘Hurricane’ Bello also swept away all heads
of department as well as heads of unit under
the board and directed their deputies to
immediately take charge.
While warning against any form of
lackadaisical attitude to work, Bello charged
the new management team to ensure that
Abuja is rid of all filth, street beggars,
street hawkers and all other environmental
nuisances, just as he also directed that the
former management team of the Board be
constituted into a Special Task Force to recover
the N9.8 billion Debt owed AEPB within eight
To underscore the degree of seriousness
of the minister’s fidelity to Operation-Keep-
Abuja clean, he approved the appointment of
Squadron Leader Abdullahi Adamu Monjel
(Retired) to head a special team of 200 security
personnel drawn from the Nigeria Police
Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil
DefenceCorps to assist in the enforcement of
environmental laws in Abuja.
He warned the members of the Special Team
that his administration will not tolerate any
act of abuse of fundamental human rights of
the residents in the discharge of their duties.
Bello gave the ousted management team of
AEPB enough time to sit up in the discharge of
their responsibilities, but like a dog destined to
get lost that fails to heed the hunter’s whistle,
the AEPB management staff turned deaf ears
to all entreaties to do the needful and stuck to
their gun of complacency.
For failing to discharge their statutory
responsibility, the minister has been severally
harangued and pilloried in the media by
some pseudo-analysts. And contrary to the
insinuations expressed by such analysts,
the minister since assuming office has given
the management team enough moral and
psychological support and even created an
enabling environment to enable it function
optimally, but it chose to cleave to the businessas-
usual order of the past with annoying
recklessness. But why it failed to read the
minister lips and body language on this
sensitive issue of environmental sanitation,
even after the sensational launch of the
Community Household Sanitation Campaign
in the six Area Councils,beggars belief.
It would be recalled that AEPB was
established in 1977 via Decree No. 10
promulgated by the late General Sani Abacha
military administration with the primary
purpose of controlling and removal of all
kinds of wastes and doing other things that
are necessary for the purpose of enhancing a
healthy environment within the territory.
Charged with achieving sustainable
development in the territory, the AEPB is also
mandated to secure the quality of environment
adequate for the health and well-being of the
residents of the territory; conserve and use
the environment and its natural resources
for the benefit of the territory. Unfortunately,
it has not been able to discharge its statutory
responsibilities convincingly and to the
satisfaction of a high preponderance of Abuja
Performance in office is not contingent on
age, but on individual leader’s predisposition to doing the right thing or better still,
putting a round peg in a round hole.
Bello, by sacking and reconstituting the
management team of AEPB has set the
agency on the path to self-discovery and
According to an adage, when a dry leaf
falls to the ground, it is a signal to fresh
ones that one day it will be their turn. The
drastic action by the minister against the
indolent management staff of the AEPB is
a warning signal to other parastatals and
agencies of the FCTA that if they don’t
wake up to their responsibilities, they will
soon have a taste of the ‘koboko’ that the
minister is currently wielding in a frenzied
move to make FCT work.
For so long, government agencies and
parastatals have adopted the standoffish
disposition to critical issues that
are germane to the development of this
country. All they do is to wait till the end
of the month, collect allocations and waste
same on frivolities that have no direct
bearing to the good of the masses. With
the minister’s drastic action against the
management team of AEPB, it should
be clear to all and sundry that the era of
business-as-usual couched in impunity
has finally been consigned to the dustbin
of history. And methinks the minister
deserves the support of everyone in this
noble enterprise of repositioning the
nation’s capital city.
Dcn Edor is an Abuja-based public affairs

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