Natives of the Federal Capital Territory have warned the federal government not to implement the demands of the Niger Delta avengers without implementing the demands of the Abuja natives for peace to reign in the nation’s capital.
The group under the aegis of Coalition of FCT Indigenous Group warned that implementation of demands by the Niger Delta avengers will amount to an act of injustice, as numerous memoranda submitted to the National Assembly to address the marginalization of the Abuja natives have not been attended to since inception of democracy in 1999.
The warning was contained in a statement issued by the spokesman of the group, Comrade Yunusa Ahmadu Yusuf and made available to journalists in Abuja. The group noted that the Abuja natives have canvassed for the establishment of the FCT Original Inhabitant Development Commission similar to Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, aimed at addressing the socio economic and developmental plight of the FCT natives without coming to fruition. The statement observed that despite sacrifices made by the natives in building one Nigeria, no consideration of a ministerial appointment of the natives by both previous and present government.
“While we appreciate the plight of the Niger Delta and their contributions to the growth of the economy, we want to equally state that it will amount to crass injustice to ignore the demands of a certain region for decades. Abuja natives have come up with myriad of genuine demands to address the inequality in the political appointments without success.
“It is not that we don’t know how to take arms against the state, but we felt that dialogue should be the best option to achieve meaningful progress. However, we should not be pushed to the wall by implementing the demands of certain region to the detriment of others who produce the goose that lay the golden egg,” the statement stressed.
It would be recalled that the group had on March 9, 2016 submitted a memorandum to the House Committee on Federal Capital Territory. During the presentation, the group also demanded for a second tier government for the Federal Capital Territory, noting that despite the provision of section 299 of the constitution which provides for FCT to be treated as if it is a state of the federation, the original inhabitants does not enjoy second tier of government.
The group therefore called on the House Committee chairman to initiate or support any bill or amendment of the constitution so that the original inhabitants will benefit the status and structure of a state, noting that the present constitutional provision has reduced the Abuja natives to a third class citizens in Nigeria.