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‘How Abuja natives can tackle land grabbing’ – Stakeholders meet to branstorm on the way forward

 NEWSMAN, Abuja – Abuja original inhabitants have been charged to take the lead, and chart the cause for change, and development on issues concerning large scale acquisition of land, and the displacement of Abuja indigenes.

The declaration of 1976 by Murtala Muhammed, pronounced FCT as the new Federal Capital Territory, with the claim that the land, as of then, was a virgin land, and there were few people inhabiting the place, making it suitable for people all over the country to converge in the new created capital, for many reasons. 

Centre for Information and Development (CITAD), in partnership with Actionaid Nigeria, organized a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, to discuss with Abuja indigenes on the need to come up with solutions, and act on a way forward through the use of technology, to assist in ownership, validation, registration, and transfers of land.

The meeting had in attendance some traditional leaders, and community representatives from four area councils; AMAC, Kwali, Kuje, and Bwari.

Head of Programmes, Actionaid Nigeria, Suwaiba Yakubu Jibrin assured that the non-governmental organization was ready to assist the original inhabitants to seek the right channel towards proffering solutions on the issue of land grabbing, in order to avoid impending dangers of food insecurity, extreme poverty and other dangers attached to land grabbing.

According to her, “If you want to deprive anyone of their livelihood, take their land”. She also urged the participants to continue sensitizing their people, and to encourage one another to work together in one voice. 

President, Original Inhabitants Development Association (OIDA) Danladi Jeji, commended the efforts of the organizers of the meeting, and pleaded that CITAD in collaboration with Actionaid should help create a platform where FCT indigenes can meet with the president of Nigeria. 

“The biggest problem we have in this land grabbing issue is the Constitution, there is no place in the world that will write that a head of state is also governor of a state, and that he can confer that power to a minister he chooses. 

“Abuja indigenes want to sit with our governor, the head of state because he is our governor, ” Jeji said. 

Also, representatives from government agencies present at the meeting, spoke on the issue, and pledged their support for Abuja indigenes on the matter. Representatives present were from the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), Voice of Nigeria (VON), Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) and also AMAC chairman representative. 

Furthermore, in discussing a way forward, the indigenes asked the organizers to help equip the people on how to write an independent bill they can submit to the National Assembly. They also encouraged that more people be sensitized on the issue at hand. 

Also, suggestions were made for a committee to be constituted from the FCT area councils, in order to come up with strategies to solve the problem at hand.

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