The minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has ordered the immediate construction, upgrade or relocation of the Nyanya bus park which was bombed on Monday.
Senator Mohammed has constitutes a special committee to look into the project in order to enhance security and free flow of traffic in the area.
The members of this special committee include representatives drawn from the Urban and Regional Planning Department of FCT, Land Department and the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council.
Apart from the mandate to work out modalities for reconstructing the bus park, the committee is to explore the possibility of relocating the park to a better place to ease traffic bottlenecks in the area.
Mohammed, during a crucial meeting with critical stakeholders in the FCT Administration (FCTA) that lasted several hours yesterday in Abuja, directed the committee to commence work immediately notwithstanding the public holidays.
According to the minister, the meeting was summoned to review security situation in the FCT and deliberate on the way forward following the deadly security breach that led to the bombing of the motor park, resulting in the deaths of 75 people while 124 others were injured.
He called for support for government from all quarters to ensure the return of normalcy to Nyanya.
He directed the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company (AUMTCO) to deploy more high-capacity buses to the routes to fill the gap created by the buses damaged by the bomb blast.
The minister said the reconstructed park would have necessary security features to deter future attacks.
At the meeting, which deliberated on many other issues that have to do with security in FCT, a minute silence was observed in honour of victims of the Nyanya bomb blast.
Those present at the meeting apart from the FCT Minister were the FCT Minister of State, Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide; Permanent Secretary of FCT, Mr. John Chukwu; Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Yau Gital; chairmen of the six area councils in the FCT; FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu; and the Director of State Security Services in FCT, Mr. John Okojie.
Also present were the Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr.. Reuben Okoya, the Commandant of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Alhaji Aminu Kofarsoro; and the FCT Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mrs. Susan Ada Ajenge.
Meanwhile, there was excruciating gridlock yesterday on the Nyanya-Maraba axis of the Abuja-Keffi Expressway as a result of the renewed stop-and-search operation by security personnel.
The situation was so bad that most residents either returned to their homes or spent more than five hours to get to the city centre, a journey that should not have lasted more than 15 minutes.
Reacting to the development, Mohammed appealed for the understanding of commuters and motorists using the Mararaba – Nyanya – AYA road.
He urged them to bear with the authorities as efforts were being made to upgrade the Nyanya Park and improve security and traffic flow. He said he had given directives to security agents to enhance security in usually crowded public places, including other motor parks in the FCT.
According to him, “in matters of security everybody is a stakeholder and therefore security is everybody’s business.”
Also yesterday, the Senate Committee on FCT visited victims of the bomb blast to ascertain allegations that they were denied food by hospital authorities.
Leading the team which visited the National Hospital; Asokoro District Hospital as well as the scene of the bomb explosion in Nyanya, the committee Chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi, sought clarifications from the hospital authorities on the allegation.
He had sought to know the authenticity or otherwise of the allegation by families of the affected victims that the injured were denied food by some of the hospitals.
“There are claims by families of the victims that the hospitals did not provide victims with food. I don’t know what you are doing about the feeding because majority of them are down-trodden,” he said.
While denying the allegation, the Chairman, Governing Board of the National Hospital, Dr. Tony Okam, said the staff were doing their best despite the emergency they had to contend with.
According to Okam, 25 blast victims were still receiving treatment at the hospital and none of them had been denied food.
“It is not true. I have given a directive that under no condition should any patient be denied food and good spirited people have been coming with assistance.
“We run three shifts; if there was a need, we would have called up workers from the 60-bed Trauma Centre and opened the centre.
“The centre has capacity to accommodate up to 80. It would have ordinarily been able to accommodate everybody but our prayer is that it will not happen again,” he said.
Adeyemi made a personal donation of N2 million to the bomb blast victims receiving treatment in the hospitals and directed their managements to share the money among the victims to enable them attend to the financial needs of their dependants.
He also promised that the committee would ensure adequate budgetary allocation in the FCT 2014 statutory budget for the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in commercial areas.
“Now that we are still working on the FCT statutory budget, we hope to make enough funding for security. We are going to ensure that virtually all parks and commercial centres of the city have cameras that can capture movements of people.
“We are going to purchase CCTV that are of international standard that can really do the job for us,” he said.
Senator Philip Aduda commended the health workers for what he described as their commitment and quick response towards helping the wounded. He also thanked Adeyemi for his kind gesture to the people by his donation.
“This is my constituency and it happened directly to me because among them we have family members, brothers and sisters and all those who supported me one way or the other politically,” Aduda said.