Wike reacted after being dragged for assuming office with N300 million new bulletproof SUV labelled ‘FCT-01’. Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, has denounced as falsehoods a social media story that he purchased a N300 million armored Lexus LX600 barely a day after being sworn in by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Wike was dragged by Nigerians on Tuesday after some viral images revealed his arrival at the FCT Administration office in an armored SUV designated ‘FCT-01’.
Wike, however, challenged the media to check his car and clarify whether it was the bulletproof variety or not during a visit to the Abuja Light Rail on Wednesday.
Wike said “We are now going to the office to get a direct report from each department,” he continued, “But I have seen what is going on in social media, how you (FCTA Permanent Secretary) bought a bulletproof car for N300 million Naira, which I am using.”
“So I’d like you to go hit your hand there (on the car) and see if it’s a treated car.” Individuals should be careful not to ruin other individuals, with all due respect.
“When I arrived, the Permanent Secretary said they had a car for us, and this is the car we use.” I have never approved the purchase of any vehicle, and I have never utilized an official bullet-proof vehicle.
Do I have automobiles as a governor? Yes, what do you expect me to have as a governor? But, as FCT Minister, I do not drive a bulletproof automobile, so we must do the right thing and not damage ourselves. “I want you to look at where you have the flag and see if it’s a bullet-proof car,” he said.
Several journalists took up the challenge and confirmed that the car was not bulletproof.
Wike, who inspected the light rail from the metro station to the Abuja airport, advised the contractors, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company CCECC, that they should shorten their one-year schedule for completing the vandalized segment of the project to no more than eight months.
Noting that he is pressed for time, the minister stated that Abuja citizens must instantly sense the government’s presence.
“This is a good project,” he stated. This is one of the projects that we will complete quickly and put to use. I have ordered the Permanent Secretary to pay the contractors since the funds are available.
“People can only have faith in the rail if the existing one works; we will make this route work before discussing another.”
Wike, on the other hand, bemoaned that the Metro Station-Airport route was not particularly practical, adding that his government will begin construction on economically viable lines connecting locations like Nyanya and Kubwa to the city core in the near future.
He also questioned why the metro station’s surrounding fence had not been built, stating that FCT officials and contractors could not complain about vandalism if the fundamental security need had not been satisfied.