By: Wisdom Acka
Original inhabitants in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to establish gubernatorial and State Assembly positions for the FCT.
They made the demand under the aegis of Attachi, a Socio-cultural Organization that documents and advocates for cultural intrigues, rights and social development of the Abuja natives.
Chairman of the indigenous group, Comrade Bitrus Lawrence Garki, made the demand in a Press Statement released over the weekend.
He lamented that while other Nigerians in the FCT have the opportunity to exercise their franchise in deciding their Governors and Houses of Assembly members, FCT original inhabitants are disenfranchised and deprived of this privileged civic duty, and are limited to voting only for the President and National Assembly members.
Lawrence frowned at the practice where the FCT does not have an assembly exclusively dedicated to itself, rather the National Assembly doubles as FCT Assembly.
The statement further reads: “This is indeed so for the indigenous peoples of the Federal Capital, who can cast their votes for only the President and Federal Legislatures.
“The effects and impact of the discriminatory policy and the deprivation of right of franchise can only better be imagined. This is indeed so given the incredible sacrifices towards ensuring that the Federal Capital Territory has become a reality even though at their own peril,” he said.
“Policies have been inconsistent and where any is being implemented, they have been carried out with impunity thereby putting the future of the inhabitants in a state of uncertainty and indeed jeopardy”, he also lamented.
Lawrence, particularly berated the resettlement programme on original inhabitants, saying it has failed, even as he submitted his people have been short-changed and their lives in the Territory rather turned a nightmare, while that of others flourished.