On August 16, 2023, the presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale announced the ministerial portfolios for the nominees that will serve as cabinet members in the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The announcement comes two weeks after the nominees appeared before the National Assembly for screening.
Since the portfolios were assigned and made public, the list has generated several reactions and some claims. One such claim is that Nyesom Wike, the immediate past governor of Rivers State, who has been assigned the the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) portfolio, is being described as the first southerner to be appointed as a “full FCT minister.”
The Twitter user tweeted that “Nyesom Wike Breaks Record.
…Emerges as the first Southerner to become a Full FCT Minister.”
Claim: Nyesom Wike is the first Southerner to become a full FCT minister
On February 3, 1976, the military government of Murtala Muhammed announced the creation of the FCT, Abuja in a nationwide broadcast. Unlike all 36 states, the FCT has a different status as the federal capital administration is headed by a minister and not a governor.
Since 1976, every military head of state and democratically elected president has been appointing a minister for the FCT and in some instances, a minister of state to serve alongside the “full” minister.
The CDD War Room found that the first minister of FCT was Mobolaji Adeogun in 1976 and he handed over to John Jatau in 1978. Jatau left office in 1982 and handed over to Emeka Okoye who held the position as minister of state, FCT.
We found that Adeogun hails from Lagos state, a southern state of Nigeria.
The FCT Ministerial position like other Ministerial positions also has a minister of state, hence the ‘full’ caption by the claimant.
Nyesom Wike is not the first Southerner to become a full FCT minister. The late Mobolaji Adeogun from Lagos state was the first minister for FCT in 1976. However, since then, no Southerner has been appointed as “full” minister of the Federal Capital Territory until August 2023.