The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has denied the rumour that he had planned to demolish 6,000 houses across 30 settlements in Abuja, including Wadata Plaza.
Refuting the claim, the Director Press, Office of the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, stated that claims by some media outfits that Mr Wike plans to demolish the alleged 6,000 houses, were mere speculations.
“We would like to categorically state that these stories are entirely false and without any basis,” Mr Ogunleye said.
Ogunleye claimed that the story on the demolition of the houses was reported by a national daily on 22 August, with the caption “Abuja land: FG may revoke land allocations, demolish 6000 buildings, slums.”
He further added that another mainstream newspaper also published what he described as an “irritating story” with the caption, “Wadata Plaza will go down, Reactions trail Wike’s demolition threat.”
However, the ministry mouthpiece said: “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 six 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.
Condemning the development, the press secretary implied that such sensational reporting not only misleads the public but also sabotages the vital role that accurate and well-researched journalism plays in society.