We have observed how miscreants, bent on fueling unnecessary ethnic distrust, have deliberately misinterpreted the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to relocate its Banking Supervision Department to Lagos and the directive of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should move its head office to Lagos.
We find it necessary to inform Nigerians that there is not even an iota of truth in the interpretations given to the directives in some quarters and in the unfounded claims and rumors that President Bola Tinubu is planning to relocate the Federal Capital to Lagos.
These rumours, which first surfaced during last year’s elections, were sponsored by political opponents seeking all kinds of weapons to prevent Asiwaju Tinubu from being elected president by a section of the country.
Those behind this renewed sordid narrative, using the recent decision of the CBN and FAAN as a pretext to start another round of toxic opposition, are dishonest ethnic and regional champions trying to draw attention to themselves.
Abuja’s status as the federal capital is here to stay. It is backed by law.
The relocation of FAAN, an agency of the Ministry of Aviation, to Lagos, where it was located before the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, moved it to Abuja during the last administration, is not equivalent to relocating the Federal Capital to Lagos.
Normally, the administrative move should have attracted little attention as Lagos is the commercial capital and center of the aviation business in Nigeria. FAAN will continue to maintain some presence in Abuja. It is not a general movement.
Similarly, the relocation of the CBN Banking Supervision Department to Lagos should not cause any discord within the political system. The department in question deals with commercial banks, almost all of which are based in Lagos.
All those who promote this campaign of falsehood and misinformation know that they are simply playing politics, even if it is a dangerous politics, to pit the North against the South.
There are many parastatal entities that are not based in Abuja, depending on their mandate. The headquarters of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for example, are located in Lagos. In the same vein, the headquarters of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is located in Lokoja, while that of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), commissioned by former President Muhammadu Buhari, is located in Lokoja. located in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
It should be noted that these decisions are purely administrative and should not be politicized by people of good will and by those who wish our country well.
The administration led by President Tinubu is working tirelessly to be fair and equitable to all sectors of the country. We urge restraint by those whose business objective is to create all kinds of dangerous rumors to distract all governments from the noble objective of satisfying the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
Our citizens want nothing more than good governance that has a positive impact on their lives. The spread of rumors is a disservice to this ultimate expectation of our people.
Bayo Onanuga Special Advisor to the President on Information and Strategy January 24, 2024