By: Prudence Okonna
A Healthcare Expert, Bassey Bassey has called on indigenous FCT youths to take advantage of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) made available by the federal government to cater for the health of those in the rural communities to improve primary healthcare.
The Health expert made this known during a strategy meeting organized by the Abuja Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment Organization (AOIYEO) held in Gwagwalada, for youths in Gwagwalada and Kuje Area Councils to promote the rights of the indigenous people of the FCT.
Bassey lamented that people who are not able to access quality health care, are an unhealthy workforce and cannot adequately protect their environment, hence the need for every indigene to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them by holding their leaders accountable.
Speaking on the essence of the strategy meeting, the program manager, AOIYEO, Bitrus Lawrence Garki, said the original inhabitant communities need to share their thoughts on issues affecting them, how they are responding to them and how to proffer solutions moving forward.
Highlighting their challenges; Garki added, ‘’since the movement of the capital from Lagos to Abuja, in 1976, it has not been favorable to the original inhabitants of FCT and this is because they have been faced with many challenges. According to him, “these challenges tend to tromp over their rights and when these rights are taken away, it becomes a problem; these rights border around their economic, political right, land, health, and education rights. Based on these, they have been disenfranchised in many forms.’’
Other stakeholders in the civil society sector also speaking during the strategy meeting called on the youths to demand their rights by every appropriate means possible so as to enjoy the dividends of being indigenes of Abuja.
A media entrepreneur, Tukurah John Daniel, while speaking on the politics of revitalizing economic power called on Abuja indigenes to quit feeling victimized and rather speak truth to power when necessary.
He however emphasized the need for Original inhabitants of the FCT to be economically empowered by taking advantage of existing structures in place to form Agricultural Cooperatives and trade clusters to key into funding opportunities.
The program manager, Center for Transparency and Advocacy, MacDonald Ekemezie while speaking on the impact of farming and mining on the environment called on the original inhabitants to demand proper usage of their lands in other to curb air pollution, heavy metal contamination, erosion, sinkholes, deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
The strategy meeting which brought together youth representatives from communities in Gwagwalada and Kuje area councils will be hosted next by Abaji and Kwali area councils.