Indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the auspices of Coalition of Indigenous groups of the FCT, yesterday took a peaceful protest to the National Assembly, over the non inclusion of an indigene name in the ongoing Ministerial screening in the Senate.
The natives who were over 100 converged at the Eagle Square, where they started the protest March from, to the National Assembly, carrying placards with inscriptions, ‘FCT indigenes deserve Ministerial slot’ ‘We need a second tier government in FCT’ ‘PMB pls appoint an FCT indigene as a Minister, for fair representation at FEC’ amongst others.
Spokesperson of the indigenous groups, Comrade Dalhatu Ezekiel said that they decided to stage the peace protest sequel to the last list of ministerial nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate on September 30, which was made public on October 10, with no FCT original inhabitants making the list.
He quoted President Buhari words at the inauguration, when he said he belonged to nobody and that he belonged to everybody, adding that the statement became illusive and an act of disillusion not to have an indigene’s name included in the list.
“We demand to be treated fairly, as enshrined in section 299 of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). When it comes to education background, we produce graduates with good grade yearly, with wonderful area of specialization, like engineers, doctors and Lawyers.
“We are calling on President Buhari to appoint an original inhabitant of FCT as a Minister. We demand that the FCT be given a 2nd tier of government to carter for the original inhabitants as applicable in other states, like administrative and political structure of the FCT.
“We demand for the appointments of FCT original inhabitants as chairmen of Boards into the Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. We shall continue to support President Buhari and the National Assembly in all ramifications towards ensuring that the administration succeeds given the benefit of doubt. We shall at the same time stop at nothing, but will explore all avenues to ensuring that our demands are met rather than been overlooked,” he said.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Senator Dino Melaye, who spoke with the protesting natives commended the peaceful manner at which the people conducted themselves, considering the fact that they have been marginalised for several years, that this is their time and right administration that has a listening ear for the people.
Dino further told the natives that the first, second and third agenda of the 8th Assembly is the people, appealing to them not worry because the present administration is going to listen to their plight and give them what they are agitating for.
– Kingsley Madaki, Abuja