By Yakubu Aliyu
The Presidency has reacted to allegations that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is planning to relocate Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to Lagos, saying those pushing the campaign of falsehood are playing politics, albeit dangerous politics to pitch the North against the South.
Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to President Bola Tinubu, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement via his official X handle on Wednesday said the perpetrators of the false information have taken the recent relocation of the headquarters of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and a department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Lagos out of context.
Stating the facts, the statement read: “We have noticed how mischief-makers, bent on fueling needless ethnic mistrust, have deliberately misinterpreted the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to relocate its Department of Banking Supervision to Lagos and the directive of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should relocate its head office back to Lagos.
“We consider it necessary to inform Nigerians that there is no iota of truth in the interpretations given to the directives in some quarters and the unfounded claims and rumours that President Bola Tinubu is planning to relocate the Federal Capital back to Lagos.
“These rumours, which first surfaced during the electioneering last year, was sponsored by political opponents looking for all manners of weapons to prevent Asiwaju Tinubu from being elected as president by a section of the country.”
Continuing, Onanuga stated that “those behind this renewed sordid narrative, using the recent decision of the CBN and FAAN as pretext to start another round of toxic opposition are dishonest ethnic and regional champions, trying to draw attention to themselves.”
He stressed that the status of Abuja as the Federal Capital has come to stay, as it is backed by law.
Commenting on the movement of FAAN, an agency of Aviation Ministry, to Lagos, where it was located before former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, moved it to Abuja during the last administration, the President’s aide said the decision does not amount to moving the Federal Capital to Lagos.
“The administrative move should have ordinarily attracted scant attention, as Lagos is the commercial capital and the hub of aviation business in Nigeria. FAAN will still maintain some presence in Abuja. It is not a wholesale movement,” the statement noted.
Similarly, it pointed out that the movement of the Department of Banking Supervision of the CBN to Lagos should not trigger any discord within the polity, as the department concerned deals with commercial banks, almost all of which have their headquarters in Lagos.
Explaining further, the statement noted that there are many parastatals that are not based in Abuja depending on their mandate.
Citing examples, it stated that the headquarters of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) are in Lagos, while the headquarters of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is in Lokoja, and that of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), was commissioned by former President Muhammadu Buhari is in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“It must be pointed out that these decisions are purely administrative that should not be politicized by people of goodwill and those who wish our country well,” the statement noted, adding that the citizens desire nothing but good governance that positively impacts their lives.