Natives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) today in Abuja protested half-naked to back up their campaign against the government for neglect and marginalization, and threatened a quit notice to all residents to vacate the city.
The group, under the umbrella of FCT Natives Marginalized Youths, handed down the warning after they brought their protest to the gates of the National Assembly.
Addressing the protesters, the leader of the group, Yinusa Buhu Bokunun, affirmed that for many decades the government has ignored the pleas of the FCT natives over their marginalization, deprivation and exclusion.
VIDEO: FCT Natives Protest Naked Over Marginalisation, Threaten To Issue Quit Notice To Residents pic.twitter.com/W0SUABzg9k— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) June 13, 2017
"Our plight has grown so big that it has grown to agitation and the next level will be either asking all the people who live here to also vacate our land as other people are practicing," he stated.
The group expressed regret for giving their support to the President Muhammadu Buhari led government, noting that after two years in office, the Senate has not made any law that would impact positively on their lives.
"We feel we are the citizens who have maintained peace over the years and we have been accommodating right from our ancestors but we have been pushed to the wall. We want to know why FCT natives have not been part of the decision-making of this country."
They accused the government of manipulating the constitution to discriminate and marginalize them, and demanded:
(1) Appointment of an FCT native into the Federal Executive Council for the purpose of geographical balance and equity.
(2) Creation of two additional Senatorial Districts and 4 additional Federal Constituencies.
(3) An elected Mayoral Council to form the legislative arm of the city Government.
(4) Integration of the original inhabitants in the development of the FCT, instead of resettlement.
(5) Creation of an Abuja Original Inhabitants Developments Commission to undertake specific infrastructural development.
The frayed nerves of the visibly angry protesters became aggravated with the arrival of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the FCT, Mr. Dino Mr. Melaye, to address them. They accused Mr. Melaye of dishonesty and indifference toward their plight, and demanded, instead, to see the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
It took the efforts of the security operatives who appealed to the protesters before they allowed Mr. Melaye to address them.
He assured the group that their message would be delivered to the Senate President and thanked them for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.
It would be recalled that during a recent exchange on Channels TV with his predecessor, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Melaye openly admitted that he diverted funds and projects meant for Abuja to his Kogi West constituency.
The FCT, which is home to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, was carved out in 1976 from parts of Nasarawa, Niger, and the Kogi States in the heart of the country. The natives were re-settled in parts of the outlying areas but have always complained of neglect.