Indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the banner of the Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) have asked the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, to fast-track the nomination of delegates that would represent the territory at the forthcoming national conference.
In a statement issued by its President, Pastor Danladi Jeji, the OIDA said: “The national conference will give the Abuja indigenous people the opportunity to bring the issues of their statelessness, marginalisation and forceful usurpation of their lands without compensation by the Nigerian state to the limelight.”
The statement said: “As a precursor to the said conference and with the aim of ensuring credible representation of FCT at the conference, the Board of
Trustees of OIDA, chaired by an elder statesman, Alhaji Abubakar Wodi, met on Wednesday, February 5, in a consultative meeting to articulate, amongst other things, OIDA’s ideas for selection of FCT’s nominees and agenda for the conference.”
It added that at the meeting, it was agreed that OIDA, with its broad-based and grassroots reach and membership cutting across all the nine original indigenous tribes and the entire territory was a major stakeholder in the FCT, “therefore, it avails itself to the FCT Administration to partake in FCT’s nominees’
selection process, FCT’s agenda formulation and FCT’s full participation at the conference.”
The association also said it sent its resolutions to the minister on February 7, and remained fully ready to work with the Senator Bala Mohammed-led FCTA and indeed all other concerned stakeholders towards achieving FCT’s strong participation and impact at the conference.
It added: “OIDA remains unrelenting in its avowed and dogged mission to ensure that the Original Inhabitants of Abuja’s voices are not only sounded loud and clear, but that they be heard and fully given their due and rightful place in the Nigerian state.”