BREAKING ;I didn’t purchase N300m bullet proof SUV – Wike cries out
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike has refuted claims of purchasing a N300 million Armoured Lexus LX600 SUV on assumption to office.
Wike made the rebuttal shortly after a visit to Metro Train Station, Abuja on Wednesday to inspect ongoing rehabilitation of Abuja Rail Mass Transport System.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some sections of the media had published a picture of an Armored Lexus SUV model LX 600, fitted with ‘FCT – 01’ plate.
The reports claimed that the SUV, which cost more than N300 million, belonged to the new FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.
But Wike refuted the claim, describing it as mere “mischief”, stressing that he was sworn in on Monday and had not even sat down to work yet.
He said that all he did was interact with staff and today (Wednesday), went to the Metro Train Station, Abuja with the Minister of State for FCT to see things for themselves.
“We are now going back to the office to interact with each of the departments in the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
“But I have seen what is going on in the social media, how the FCTA Permanent Secretary bought a bullet proof car of N300 million 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,” he said.
He explained that when he resumed, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade had told him that the FCTA has cars that the ministers would use.
“And the car we use is this (pointing at a regular Lexus SUV).
“I have never approved for any car to be bought and I have not used any official bullet proof car.
“I am not using a bullet proof car as FCT Minister, so we should report the right thing, and not destroy ourselves.
“I want you to take a look at the car I came with, the one with the flag and see whether it is a bullet proof car”, he asked the journalists at the scene.
In a related development, the Director Press, Office of the Minister, Mr Anthony Ogunleye, dismissed claims by some media outfits that Wike plans to demolish 6,000 houses across 30 settlements in Abuja, including Wadata Plaza.
“We would like to categorically state that these stories are entirely false and without any basis,” Ogunleye said.
He explained that the story on the demolition of 6,000 houses was reported by a national daily newspaper on Aug. 22, with the caption “Abuja land: FG may revoke land allocations, demolish 6000 buildings, slums”.
He added that another mainstream newspaper also published what he described as an “irritating story”, with a caption, “Wadata Plaza will go down, Reactions trail Wike’s demolition threat”.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Minister did not in any of his pronouncements list the areas or the number of illegal houses to be removed.
“Rather, his emphasis has always been that illegal settlements and structures would be removed for the greater good of the public.
“Equally vexing” is the headline from a reputable broadcast station saying, “I will fix Abuja in 6 days” and attributed the same to the FCT Minister.
“We wish to state quite clearly that at no time did the Honourable Minister say this or allude to this phrase in any way. This headline, therefore, is borne purely out of mischief,” he said.
The press secretary pointed out that such sensational reporting not only misleads the public but also undermines the vital role that accurate and well-researched journalism plays in society. (NAN)