FCT Original Inhabitants Appeals for Establishment of Indigenous Commission
By: Prudence Okonna & Niyi Lawal
Abuja Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment Organisation (AOIYEO) has appealed for the establishment of an Abuja Original Inhabitants Development Commission (AOIDC), which will be dedicated and focused solely on the unique issues of the FCT Original Inhabitants (FCTOI’s).
The group made the appeal during an interactive chat with the media while unveiling its charter of demands in Abuja.
Speaking during the briefing, the project Manager, AOIYEO, Bitrus Lawrence Garki, revealed that having an indigenous commission like the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is one of its major demands in the document.
Garki said that the charter of demands is the single most important document of the FCTOIs as it is a tool for advocacy containing their yearnings. He noted the document was developed by the people through the feedback received from the strategic town hall meetings held across the six Area Councils; adding that AOIYEO was only a channel for collating the thoughts of the people.
He noted that the strategic interactions with the FCT Administration and FCDA, Area Councils’ Leadership, the FCT Traditional Council of Chiefs across the upgraded 17 Chiefdoms, the 62 wards, and 858 community representatives, general stakeholders, and leaders among the FCT Original Inhabitants have given the document a fascinating depth and far-flung acceptance among the people.
In his words: “this is the single most important document of FCT OIs, it is very comprehensive and we are all strongly behind it, both as a guideline for continued advocacy, and our yardsticks to determine candidates to support at the polls”.
The project Manager further revealed that the document would first go back to its originators; the people through AOIYEO’s website as well many other platforms.
Garki further revealed that the unveiling of the charter of demands is a major highlight of the “promoting the rights of FCT OIS” project, which has been in the works for over a year and funded by the Mac-Arthur Foundation through the Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) in partnership with nine other organisations.
Recalling all its achievements, the project manager noted with excitement that AOIYEO has launched the ‘OIPedia Platform’, a virtual cultural repository for FCT Original