Mark, Bankole Get New Accommodation

Source: THEWILL -

ABUJA, Feb 21, (THEWILL) - Apparently worried about the insecurity at their Apo Legislators Quarters residence in Abuja, four Principal Officers of the National Assembly are to benefit from a new set of residential accommodation being planned by the Federal Capital Territory Administration [FCTA], at the Maitama Extension Area in Abuja.

“The National Assembly complex at Apo has been sold out to the public and it is being occupied by all sorts of persons,” a source familiar with the plan told THEWILL.

THEWILL gathered that the new residential quarters would guarantee maximum security for the Senate President, Senator David Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole.

Others to benefit from the new residential quarters are the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his House of Representatives counterpart, Hon. Usman Bayero Nafada.

Our source however, declined to give details of the cost of the project expected to be handled by a popular construction company in Abuja.

Specifically, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed had last Thursday indicated that a new set of accommodation is in the offing for some of principal Officers of the parliament when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on FCT to defend the FCT 2011 budget at the National Assembly.

THEWILL also learnt today that contract for the new residential accommodation has already been awarded to the construction firm and work at the site is set to begin before the end of this week.

On why the government was embarking on the multi-million-naira project when the Principal Officers were already accommodated at the Apo Legislative Quarters in Abuja, the FCT Minister had told the Attai Aidoko Ali-led House Committee that the decision is predicated on the recent insecurity situation in some parts of the country.

“Our decision is taken out of share sense of responsibility. But with responsibility comes the issue of security, the issue of the latitude and leverages which officers holding certain offices must have.

“The National Assembly is the highest democratic body we have apart from the presidency. And the National Assembly complex has been sold out to the public. The place is being inhabited by all sorts of people.

“We were there on inspection and so we cannot guarantee the safety and security of principal officers of the National Assembly who take decisions on very serious and sometimes critical issues that may impinge on the sensibilities, perception and feelings of others. We must as a government protect the principal officers of the National Assembly.

“Leaving them there will expose them to the vagaries of the society. And anybody can be a principal officer, so whoever is there and you live him there you are not being fare to him. That is why government decided that as a second tier of government we will go to an area where it is secure and safe for our principal officers to live,” the Minister said.