So, our head honchos have, once again, gotten it completely... wrong.
Yesterday, it was announced that plans have been approved to construct a N50 Billion "Abuja Boulevard" stretching from Eagle Square to the National Hospital. It was said by a smiling (I assume) FCT Minister, that this would elevate Abuja to the status of other world-class cities in the world. The Boulevard will "boost tourism" and be a "24-hour business and shopping hub" and so on and so forth, ad nauseam. It was also said that the development will allow Abuja compare favourably with Rodeo Drive. Such is the extent of our rulers' ambition. Rodeo Drive is a street in some city in California, in good ole US of A. Our rulers want our national frakking capital to compete with a street in a state in another country!
It was also announced, for all ye lucky landowners in the area, that the premiums on land will go up from N2,000 per square meter to between N50,000 and N70,000 per square meter. Naturally, those who cannot afford the new rates are welcome to surrender their Cs-of-O and be reassigned plots elsewhere. And, before anyone dared quibble or grumble about the insane hike, Alhaji Modibbo informed us that MTN and Globacom are already chomping at the bit. Then before any fingers or hands were raised, Modibbo, with a combination of glare and growl that would have Segun Arinze turn green with envy, stated that the days of people getting a "free ride" from government are over. Said he, people got the land cheap in the old days, and when government has finished investing in infrastructural development, these people now sell their land for huge profits, and this is unfair! What kind of twisted logic produces that kind of statement? So, people should not sell land anymore because the government did its frakking job and provided development?
And then, here's the kicker - Alhaji Modibbo said areas whose value will be boosted "indirectly" by the presence of the boulevard will also have their premiums increased. This is likely to have landlords jumping for joy, and tenants groaning in pain seeing as the measure for determining exactly how and to what degree this indirect boost will be applied is as yet unkown. Well, Wuse II, is likely to be one, as well as Maitama, and Garki. And, since the Boulevard is going to head across Zone 6, the rest of Wuse will be in line for a value boost. How, you ask? Quite simple. If the presence of Abuja Boulevard indirectly boosts the value of land in Zone 6, making the said Zone a "choice area" then the boosted value of land in Zone 6 should indirectly boost the value of other Zones by their proximity to the choice areas, and so on and so forth. Heck, before you know it, the premium on land in Bwari will be boosted by being indirectly enhanced by its closeness to Dutse, which was boosted by its closeness to Gwarimpa, which was boosted by its closeness to Wuse II, which was boosted by its closeness to the Boulevard!
Don't you just love the frakking logic?
Here we are, myriad crises facing our government such as the situation in the Niger Delta, and the fact that electricity has been relegated to a pipe dream, and the fact that roads are shockingly bad, and the fact that there is no security of lives and property, and the fact that our teachers have finally gotten pissed off enough to challenge the insincerity and double-faced nature of government promises, and the fact that corruption is a way of life, and a thousand and one other problems, and all they can think of is Abuja Boulevard. They should all get medals for their innovative thinking. So, here's the rub, dear readers: in the spirit of reallocation of land, it is quite likely that the hapless landowners who cannot afford the new outrageous premiums on their land, will likely be reassigned to plots in Kubwa or Bwari, or, come to think of it, Abaji. Their land will then be in all probability reallocated to varied PDP stalwarts, and then the said stalwarts will get to resell the land to those who are expected to jostle for spaces in the area at profits that will have their account officers smiling all the way to the bank.
And, naturally, in the new spirit of the rule of law, anyone who doesn't like it can go *@&!#%. Or head for the Abuja Land Use Tribunal (which is pretty much the same thing).