FCT minister and political appointees

SIR: Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello recently came under hard knocks over his perceived unwillingness to appoint political heads for the various agencies and departments under the FCT Administration. The minister was specifically accused of running a one-man-show in the FCT, with the authors saying the state of affairs had taken a plunge, following the absence of these political heads.

In all honesty, one would say this paradigm shift being introduced by Bello is one that actually deserves commendation and not criticism because this  is what Nigerians have been yearning for both in the FCTA and other government institutions. The reality is the world over, governments have always been run by the civil servants. For instance, Britain had a referendum a few months back where a new Prime Minister came in through the front door and the old Prime Minister went out through the backdoor. But the British government was working.

As it is in the FCTA, all the secretariats are now headed by civil servants working day in day out. If these offices have no officials, of course the city would have been grounded to a halt by now. The lady handling the education secretariat, for instance is one of the most experienced public servants in the FCT. Under her purview, the FCTA has been able to identify 500 substandard schools that are not meant to be there as was widely reported. Under her purview also, 72 teachers were trained recently to handle the Nigeria/Korea Model School in Abuja. Under her purview, 30 teachers will be going to Korea this summer for additional training. All these will translate into better school services and at the end of the day also, better scores during WAEC and NECO. So, for somebody to write and say that the minister has not appointed an education secretary, quite frankly, what secretary again do we need?

If the truth must be told, we are in the era of change and I think it is very paramount for us in this country to develop and strengthen our institutions. So, let us not go back to this idea of everything tied to individuals.

The running of the FCT is not done by the minister. The minister just gives guidance based on the policy of the party, the policy of the President and the objective of the government. But institutions are the ones that run and if you personalize government based on individuals, then you see individuals come in with their retinue of aides, political appointees and the civil servants just fold their arms and watch and at the end of the day, the minister’s tenure ends, he packs his aides and the political appointees and moves on and there is no institutional memory. That’s why at the end of the day, each government comes trying to solve the same problems.


  • DanladiAkilu,

Gudu District, Abuja

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