“We no longer want the present military contraption, where a minister is appointed to run the Federal Capital Territory like a cantonment. We must change the constitution…”
Indigenes of the federal capital territory, FCT Abuja are not smiling.
They want a bigger slice of the national cake.
So, they are asking that Abuja be declared a state so that they can elect a governor and not a minister appointed by the President.
The indigenes under the aegis of Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA), said that the situation where a minister is appointed to just develop the center is not favourable.
President of OIDA, Danladi Jeji, made the call on Saturday in Abuja, during a town hall meeting by FCT natives on the future of Abuja indigenes.
Jeji said 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.’’
“The failure of the Federal Government to resettle, relocate and compensate our people at the initial cost of 2.8 billion Naira in 1978 has led to several policy 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,’’ Jeji said.
He added that, “the natives no longer want a city-centred minister that focuses on developing elite districts – (but a governor of their own)”.
He stressed that the constitution should be amended to reflect cosmopolitan nature of Abuja.
“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.
“We must change the constitution to reflect our wishes for a modern and cosmopolitan capital city,” he said.