There has been some furore over the inability of Eagle Square facility managers to grant permission for use of the facility during the working hours of Wednesday, this week, to an organization named Rasy International Properties Ltd, Kano.
The FCT Administration, from my investigations, was not even aware of any application from the Kwankwaso Campaign Organization for use of the Eagle Square. It could not, therefore, have known that Rasy International Properties Ltd was the same as Kwankwaso Campaign Organization.
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Yes indeed, some organizations in the past, have used the Eagle Square facility for events during the working week, but not in recent times as that policy has been under review lately.
The decision to use or not to use the Eagle Square, we have been made to understand, is simply that of the facility managers to take, and not the Presidency’s. In doing this, the facility mangers, always recourse to the Administration’s recent decision not to grant use of the place during office hours, any longer, as well as to undertake adequate background checks on applying organizations in order to ensure that only recognized organizations and national bodies could have access to the facility.
In no way was the Presidency connected with that action. Neither was the FCT Minister aware that Kwankwaso Campaign Organization applied for use of the Eagle Square.
It is also pertinent to recall that a certain festival took place early in the year during which the entire Abuja city centre was shut down by a mammoth crowd. The various roads were closed and intractable traffic gridlocks arose in various adjoining districts, coupled with a huge bedlam. Open spaces around the Eagle Square were converted into conveniences and mounts of filth presented a huge task for the Abuja sanitation agency. There were also attendant security apprehensions and chaos – all these for a mere N2.2 million payment. Consequently, because of public concern, it became necessary for the Administration to review the user policy for the facility.
Again, it must be restated that filing the application for the use of the Square in the name of a barely known organization, Rasy International Properties Ltd, based in Kano did not help matters. Subsequently, confronted with heightened security concern, the facility managers seemed to have had no option but to cancel the request. It must also be stated that it is not unusual for the facility managers to cancel such request based on the foregoing. It is only Rasy International that chose to go to town.
Some of us who have come across the present FCT Minister, have come to admire him as one who has striven to rise above clannish considerations and sentiments in the conduct of public affairs. We must commend him for that.
Uche Okeke, Abuja
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