Presidency yesterday assured Nigerians that the federal capital will not be moved back to Lagos.

The clarification followed reactions of some northern groups and leaders over relocation of some departments of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and offices of Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to Lagos.

In a post on his X (formerly Twitter) page, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, wrote: “President Tinubu has no plan to move federal capital to Lagos. The rumour first surfaced during the campaign last year by opponents looking for all manner of weapons to stop him. We trashed it.

“Those peddling it anew are dishonest, ethnic and regional champions, trying to draw attention to themselves. Abuja has come to stay. It is backed by law.

“The movement of FAAN, a department of Aviation Ministry to Lagos, where it was based before former Minister, Hadi Sirika, moved it to Abuja does not amount to moving FCT to Lagos. The administrative move should have attracted scant attention, as Lagos is the commercial capital and the hub of aviation business in Nigeria. FAAN should be nowhere else but near the industry it regulates. FAAN will still maintain some presence in Abuja.

“Similarly, the movement of some departments of CBN to Lagos should not trigger any hoopla. The departments concerned, including Bank Supervision, are those dealing with commercial banks, all with headquarters in Lagos. A regulator ought to be close to the businesses it regulates.

“All those pushing this campaign of falsehood know they are playing politics, albeit a dangerous politics to pit the North against South.

”Senator representing Kogi West and Chair of Senate Services Committee, Sunday Karimi, has said northern senators had not taken a position on the movement of some departments of CBN and FAAN to Lagos.In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Karimi said Northern Senators’ Forum agreed to investigate the matter.

He said: “What is important to our people is how decisions of government will affect their lives positively and put food on their table.

“They are not bothered by any ethnic sentiments on relocation of offices.

“During the forum’s last meeting, where the issue was raised, the members urged caution on taking a hasty position, calling for a full investigation…”

Former media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, yesterday faulted a statement credited to the senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, for faulting the relocation of certain departments of CBN and FAAN from Abuja to Lagos.Ndume, in a Channels Television interview, had said the President was being ill-advised by “Lagos boys” in the corridors of power.

But in an open letter to Ndume, Okupe wrote: “Your pronouncement on the above subject matter is provocative and unexpected of a politician of your pedigree and position…’’ in the Nigerian polity.

“You have been in politics for more than two decades, you are one of the highest-ranking senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you once contested and deservedly for the revered and exalted position of the Senate President.

“Even if you disagreed and you were aware of the ‘consensus’ of many Northern politicians being against this move, it is reasonable to expect that you would treat this situation with much equanimity and maturity.“Your threat against President Tinubu of political consequences because of this action of the Federal Government is unwarranted and demeaning of your status.

“Ours is a fragile democracy, and from the First Republic to date, leaders of this nation have managed our national stability and unity with great circumspection and forbearance. Our polity has not always been based on political correctness but rather, often times, on political expediency and prevailing power locus.

“For instance, why should major military installations and institutions be domiciled in the North? Or the Nigerian Port Authority and the Nigerian Customs be located in Abuja?“These are institutions that must be of necessity close to where the harbour is, but my dear senator, this is how we are as a people.”

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