FCT Natives: NGO Launches Project To Promote Inclusion, Equity

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The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) has launched a two-year project to promote the inclusion, equity and equality for the natives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Dr Ibrahim Zikirullahi, at the launch of the project in Abuja on Monday, supported by MacArthur Foundation, said the project would tackle the decades of marginalisation, discrimination and neglect of the people.

He said that the Original Inhabitants (OIs) of the FCT had been neglected, while also treated as second class citizens in their ancestral homelands.
According to him, the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic was a major source of the injustice suffered by the FCT OIs.

“The current stature of FCT makes the OIs stateless people; decades of calls to reform this constitutional lacuna have been ignored.
“For those who cannot connect to the stark realities of deprivation being suffered by the OIs, a few hours’ drive out of the Abuja city centre would reveal the sordid underbelly of the deprivation they are subjected to,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu urged CHRICED to look beyond the rights of the OIs but intensify campaign for citizens responsibilities for better service.
Aliyu said that FCT administration had taken it upon itself to ensure that the rights of the OIs were not denied.

She added that the FCT had opened a free channel of communication through periodic physical engagement with officials for the benefits of the natives of FCT.

“We are at the final stage of getting the data of unemployed youths across the area councils to enable us carry out the needs assessment which will help for skills acquisition and other empowerment programmes.

“As a people, the FCT OIs are free to advocate for the preservation of improvement and livelihood of their people, advocate for empowerment, capacity building and infrastructural development of the territory.

“The FCT administration will be of support to the programme, we will give listening ears to this programme to ensure that the project succeed.
She therefore appealed to the OIs to continue to be law abiding and peaceful in their conduct as their yearnings would be met.

Also, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, Acting Director, Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, FCTA, urged the FCT natives not to limit their rights in terms of land but also include good education and healthcare for girls and women.

In the same vein, the FCT Koro Youth Leader, Mr Adamu Ishaku called for the representation of the FCT natives at the Federal Executive Council and the legislative arm of government.

He added that the marginalisation of the people over the years had continued to negatively affect the living standards especially the education of the people, which he said must be looked into.

Credit: NAN.

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