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OIDA dissociates self from mercantilist FCT natives who protested against #EndSARS campaigners

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) has dissociated itself from the pro-government protest by some FCT natives against the ongoing #EndSARS protests held on Monday.

OIDA in a statement signed by its president, Pastor Danladi Jeji noted that “the protesters were organised by one Yunusa Ahmadu Yusuf (self-styled Buhun Barkonu) and one Isaac David (self-styled Commandant) who are not members of OIDA or formally known to its organs and as such have no mandate from OIDA, as the umbrella body of natives, or the indigenous people of FCT for them to stage such a protest against the widely acclaimed and nationwide-endorsed protests against police brutality.”

“Though these two organisers are FCT natives with rights to individual freedom of speech and movement but since they do not have the mandate of OIDA or any backing by majority of the indigenous people of FCT, we hereby strongly condemn their misrepresentation of the struggle of the FCT people. The media should treat the anti-#EndSARS protest as an isolated event and not colour it as having the endorsement of FCT natives,” OIDA said.

The association clearly stated that “these set of protesters are opportunists, mischievous and money-induced youths who in the guise of pursuing the interest of FCT natives are surreptitiously doing so for their personal agenda.

“We have stated it times without number beginning from the time of Land-swap policy under former FCT Minister Bala Mohammed where these same set of people were used to coerce our people to accept the policy against all rationality that their actions are against the over all interest of Abuja natives and as such we call them out as opportunists and not activists,” OIDA added.

OIDA expressed support for all agitations for the good governance, justice and welfare of all Nigerians, including #EndSARS, as long as such protests are done in an atmosphere of civility, respect for the rights of others to join or not to join such agitations within the context of obedience to the rule of law. We abhor all forms of violent protests that result in the destruction of property and death of innocent Nigerians.

“We urge all #EndSARS protesters to protest peacefully and make their points without violence while we warn thugs disrupting such peaceful protests to stay off our streets and stop harassment of FCT natives and residents before our people are tempted to react.”

The body called on community and traditional leaders including elected FCT representatives to call to order all those who are taking advantage of the genuine struggle of the FCT natives for the democratisation of governance in Abuja through the provision of a governorate, more Senate and House of Representatives seats, more local governments and respect for the rights and dignity of our people by the Federal Government.

While condemning police brutality the association also commended the efforts of the IGP Mohammed Adamu in ensuring that the necessary reforms are undertaken to weed out the few policemen giving the police a bad name.

OIDA further urged the people of FCT to know their genuine liberators and those collaborating with their oppressors to maintain the unfavourable status quo. “We urge all FCT natives to distance themselves from them until they repent from their character.”

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