Residents of Abuja have reacted following the introduction of a bimonthly sanitation exercise by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, had said at least two Saturdays in a month would be declared for sanitation from 7am to 10am. Daily Trust Saturday sought the opinion of some residents of the FCT on the bimonthly sanitation exercise.

Joel Rufus, freelancer, 26, Kubwa

I believe strongly that there is a need for us to go back to those old days where sanitation was given priority in order to prevent environmental related diseases. There is need for awareness, enlightenment and sensitisation as this will guide against unnecessary littering of wastes and also enhance cleaning of surroundings regularly as directed by the new minister.

Chinaza Ikechukwu, Businesswoman, 50, AMAC

As humans, we enjoy being forced to do things, especially what is right. Therefore, the government must compel residents of the territory to obey the new sanitation rules. Those not willing to cooperate must be dealt with to serve as a deterrent to others.

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Blessing Ekwe, Businesswoman, 31, Kubwa

During the past administration, the Abuja Environment Protection Board (AEPB) didn’t do so well, resulting in a filthy city. Therefore, this is a welcome development. I believe the new minister, Nyesom Wike, would mandate the AEPB to always clean the city and satellite towns. They should also be mandated to ensure that drains running through or by the tenement areas are kept free from blockage, dirt and stagnant water.

Haruna Muhammed, Computer Engineer, 29, Karu

It is a welcome development. Abuja is now dirtier than it used to be; almost every corner you turn has a dumpsite. It is worse in my area. People dump refuse in the middle of the road. I can remember a time when the FCT minister came to see the place when people were complaining about the smell because the AEPB refused to pack it.

Memunat Isah, Trader, 25, Dutse Alhaji

The littered drainages are draining out the health of residents here, but they don’t care. Malaria is prominent among the people. This is due to the stagnant water that breeds these mosquitoes. Therefore, the introduction of bimonthly sanitation in Abuja is a good one.

John Daniel, Self-employed, 30, Deidei

I think the authorities in charge of the environment should monitor closely all the refuse collection processes within the FCT. We as Nigerians need to key into the twice a month cleaning; this is the right thing to do. I am advising Abuja residents to take charge of their immediate environment; make sure people do not litter, urinate or defecate in their immediate environment.

Eromosele Fortune, Journalist, 30, Kuje

This, I feel, is a welcome initiative by the FCT Minister. For me, sanitation exercises should be done more than twice in a month. This is an exercise that should be carried out weekly, there are countries in the world that do this and some even everyday, so why should Nigeria be different? It may affect businesses but this is our general health and environment we are talking about. Health is wealth. Twice a month sanitation exercises in the FCT is a welcome initiative but I will advise Wike to make it weekly.

Afis Mayowa Adam, Barber, 31, Kubwa

It is high time we returned to the old times of sanitation in the FCT. The last Saturday of the month is the day we have our meetings in the estate and when you try to ask people to come for a meeting, they say there is no sanitation in Abuja.

If you have those two free hours, it would go a long way in enabling people to do some cleaning. The world would be a better place if I cleaned my house and you cleaned yours, though if you do not, it does not make any difference.

Ayomide Moses, Self employed, 37, Deidei

In my compound, we do not joke with our sanitation, even if the government says it is not official, in our place it is official because that day nobody goes out. I want to encourage residents of Abuja to make efforts to hold meetings. We do not wait for the government to come and clean our environment for us.

Grace Adetunji, Hair stylist, 30, Nyanya

The usual practice in this area is that residents dump the refuse at a designated spot by the road side to be evacuated by the area council at the end of the week but the solid wastes can remain there more than necessary. With the new policy, this will be checkmated.