By Aisha Tamba:
Indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, under the aegis of Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA), have called on the Federal Government to accord state status to the FCT so they can elect a governor.
President of OIDA, Pastor Danladi Jeji, made the call during a town hall meeting by FCT natives on the future of Abuja indigenes, lamenting that for over 41 years, several resettlement and relocation experiments were carried out in the FCT by various governments, but “no headway due to policy inconsistencies.’’
Jeji said that if the natives were allowed to elect their governor, members of house of assembly, and more local area councils created, there would be more accountability.
“The failure of the Federal Government to resettle, relocate and compensate our people at the initial cost of N2.8 billion in 1978 has led to several policies summersaults.
“In spite of all the challenges, we are still here, and we are not prepared to go anywhere, because we have nowhere to go.
“All we want is to also be represented in the Federal Executive Council. The natives no longer want a city-centred minister that focuses on developing elite districts,’’ he stated.
He stressed that the constitution should be amended to reflect cosmopolitan nature of Abuja.
According to him “this is our own idea of restructuring, a restructuring based on devolution of governmental powers from federal authorities to Abuja city authorities.
“We no longer want the present military contraption, where a minister is appointed to run the Federal Capital Territory like a cantonment,’’ he said.
The president promised to sustain the struggle for FCT natives’ emancipation through constitutional amendments at the National Assembly, through peaceful dialogue and negotiations