President Bola Tinubu’s special adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga has said refuted the rumor that the president plans to relocate the federal capital to Lagos.
According to a statement on Wednesday, Onanuga who said there was no iota of truth in the allegation by mischief-makers, bent on fueling needless ethnic mistrust, however, warned against fanning the dangerous politics of pitting the north against south.
He insisted that the status of Abuja as the Federal Capital had come to stay, noting that it was backed by law.
“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 was 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,” Onanuga said.
He labelled those fueling the renewed narrative, using the recent decision by the CBN and FAAN as pretext to start another round of toxic opposition as “dishonest ethnic and regional champions” trying to draw attention to themselves.
“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, 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.
“Similarly, the movement of the Department of Banking Supervision of the CBN to Lagos should not trigger any discord within the polity.
The department concerned deals with commercial banks, almost all of which have their headquarters in Lagos,” Onanuga added.
He said that all those behind this campaign of falsehood and misinformation knew they were “merely playing politics, albeit a dangerous politics, to pit the North against the South.
“There are many parastatals that are not based in Abuja depending on their mandate.
“The headquarters of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for example, are in Lagos.
‘In the same vein, the headquarters of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is in Lokoja, while 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 politicised by people of goodwill and those who wish our country well,” Onanuga declared.
He added that the President Tinubu-led administration was working tirelessly to be just and equitable to every section of the country, while pleading restraint on the part of those whose stock in trade was to create all manner of rumours to distract every government from the noble objective of meeting the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
“Our citizens desire nothing but good governance that positively impacts their lives.
Rumour mongering is a pernicious disservice to this ultimate expectation of our people,” he concluded.
Also, the senator representing Kogi-West, Karimi Sunday, has said the Senate Whip, Senator Ali Ndume, spoke for himself and not the Red Chamber when he condemned the proposed relocation of some CBN departments and FAAN from Abuja, back to Lagos.
This was as a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, has urged President Bola Tinubu to also approve the relocation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), amongst others to the Niger Delta region.