By Kate Ebere
Natives of the Federal Capital Territory, says President Muhammed Buhari’s failure to include them in the 43-man Ministerial list, sent to the National Assembly for screening and conformation, is “provocative, and a questioning of their Nigerian citizenship and identity.”
In a release signed by Danladi Jeji and others on behalf of other indigenous groups in the FCT, the natives said “the continued exclusion of the people is an affront to their citizenship within the Nigerian Federation,” while urging the National Assembly “to democratize the system of governance in the Capital Territory, by stripping itself of its powers as State Assembly for FCT, and also stripping the President of his powers as Governor of FCT.”
“We find the non-inclusion of any FCT native on the 43-man Ministerial list released by President Buhari on Tuesday as provocative. Are we not citizens of Nigeria? Why have we been continuously left out of having a representative in the Federal Executive Council? If the list was extended from the usual 36 to 42, and now 43 Ministerial nominees, shouldn’t we have a slot? Why do some States have more than one or two slots?” the indigenes queried.
The indigenes also said “we will no longer take lightly, the continued marginalization of FCT natives in a territory hosting the capital city of Nigeria. Our lands have been taken forcefully from us, without the Federal government following proper constitutional provisions or the Land Use Act, and now our dignity is being taken away from us as Nigerian citizens.
They said they would have no choice than to “seek recourse to the United Nations, in light of the pervasive oppression of FCT original inhabitants in our ancestral homelands to assert our universal right in a formal petition to the United Nation’s General Assembly.”