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Wike embroiled in N300m bulletproof SUV controversy

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday, denied claims that the FCT Administration acquired a bulletproof Landcruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) for him; just a day after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu swore him in, reports Daily Sun.


Addressing newsmen after a tour of the Abuja Light Rail, the former Rivers State governor challenged members of the press to inspect his vehicle and confirm whether it was the bulletproof variant or otherwise.


He said: “We are now going to the office to have a direct report from each of the departments, but I have seen what is going on in the social media, how that you (FCTA Permanent Secretary) bought a bullet proof car of N300 Million Naira that I am using.


“So I want you people to go hit your hand there (on the car) and see whether it is a treated car. With all due respect, people should be careful not to destroy other people.


“When I came, the Permanent Secretary said they have a car for us, and the car we use is this. I have never approved for any car to be bought and I have not used official bulletproof car.


“Whether I have cars as governor? Yes, as a governor, what do you expect I should have? But, I am not using a bulletproof SUV as FCT minister. So, we should report the right thing, and not to destroy ourselves. I want you to take a look at where you have the flag, and see whether it is a bulletproof vehicle,” he added.


The challenge was taken up by several journalists who confirmed that the vehicle was not bulletproof.


Wike who toured the light rail from the metro station to the Abuja airport, told the contractors, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to reduce their one year timeline for the completion of the vandalised portion of the project to at most eight months.


He noted that he is in a hurry to deliver, adding that Abuja residents must begin to feel the presence of government immediately.


He said: “This is a good project. This is one of the projects that we will hurriedly complete and put to use. The funds are available and I have directed the Permanent Secretary to pay the contractors. People can only have confidence in the rail, if the existing one is working, we will make this route work before we talk of another route.”


Wike, however, lamented that the Metro Station – Airport route was not very viable, adding that in the nearest future, his Administration will begin work on commercially viable routes linking places like Nyanya and Kubwa to the city centre.


The minister also queried why the perimetre fence of the metro station was not completed, noting that FCT officials and the contractors should not complain of vandalism when the basic security requirement had not been put in place.


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