There were fears that the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Capital Territory, FCT, might be set to scandalise itself and embarrass the National Assembly by a renewed enquiry ordered by the lower chamber into the Centenary City Project.
Those who expressed the fears and who are very knowledgeable about the centenary City Project, insinuated that a former Minister of the FCT, who allegedly sought to buy favour with the current government by last minute land allocations to persons considered close to the incoming government of Buhari, was behind the latest attempt to reopen what they regarded as “a closed matter.”
A well-placed source in the FCT ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Nigerian Pilot that Honourable Timothy Golu (Plateau, PDP) whose motion on Wednesday led to the House resolution, was acting the script of the former Minister “who is under pressure to please those he earlier misled into thinking that he could allocate part of the Centenary City that is being developed with private funds to them.”
Yesterday at the National Assembly, a number of those asked for their comments on Wednesday’s resolution of the House committee on the FCT should probe the Centenary City project, said they were watching to see how those who allowed themselves to be induced to embark on this venture by the embattled former minister would pull it through.
They said it was common knowledge that the Senate had not only held an elaborate Public Hearing on the Centenary City Project, but wrote and made public its report on the matter two weeks ago. “It is also common knowledge that all material facts on the project, including the reports of anti-crime agencies, are before the National Assembly,” one of the respondents said.
An Honourable Member who is also a member of the committee expressed concern that the desperation of some of his colleagues, as well as the “hand of Esau” behind the renewed hearing, may lead to a fiasco for them all. He pointed out that Hon. Golu, in his eagerness to please those now teleguiding his activities and that of the Committee, “did not even bother to get the most basic facts about the Centenary Project before talking to the press.”
He said: “We know that the project is run with private funds and that the government has not spent a dime on it. Yet our man went ahead to say that the government has spent billions of naira and lost thousands of hectares of land. He also said that the project is being executed without regard to extant regulations and guidelines; now who told him that? Which specific laws were violated and by whom? My brother, it is highly irresponsible of an elected representative to behave like this” he concluded.
When another Hon. Member was asked whether the House should not do its own independent investigations, and whether the leadership of the House Committee could not be deemed to be unaware of what the Senate may have done, he angrily replied: “Let those who collected money from Bala simply resolve their greed and issues amicably without embarrassing the National Assembly. There is a limit to politics survival and the stomach.”
The allegation was rife yesterday that the former FCT minister, Bala Mohammed was still running a syndicate in the ministry, teleguiding the committee and inducing some individuals to engage in all manner of mischievous acts. For instance, contrary to Golu`s claim that “there has been no compensation given,” the documents detailing how the compensation was paid and how the communities, local chiefs and the FCDA were all fully involved at every stage in ensuring that not a single person was shortchanged, were part of the submissions available to Hon. Golu himself.
The Centenary City Project was embarked on by the last administration in 2014 to mark the 100 years anniversary of the amalgamation of Nigeria. It was one of the Legacy Projects designed to place Abuja and Nigeria at the epicenter of global economic development, via new Smart Cities modeled after the likes of Dubai, Songdo and others.
As at the time of going to press, the Management of Centenary City Plc. could not be reached for comments on these developments.

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