A protest by indigenes of Abuja in Nigeria’s the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) prevented lawmakers, staff and visitors to the National Assembly from entering the premises from all entrances today.
The protesters in large numbers, stormed the National Assembly causing gridlock at the main entrances to the three arms zone; Villa Gate and Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF) Gate.
They were carrying placards with inscriptions such as It is seven days now that FCT native was killed, Nigerian Army stop killing FCT natives, protect natives and property not the opposite.
Protesting under the aegis of Coalition for FCT Indigenous Groups, the Leader, Dalhatu Musa said the indigenes would not give up until their demand was met.
The group had embarked on a renewed protest today, after last Thursday’s demonstration, over alleged killing and maiming of some indigenes by the Military over acquisition of land. The protesters alleged forceful take-over of lands by the Nigerian Army in Giri, Kpakuru, Ido Saraki, Zuba and Tungan Maje communities of the FCT.
Musa said the struggle to stop military brutality over the lands started in 2016 and had continued without positive outcome. He said as law abiding citizens, the FCT Minister was petitioned and a committee had been set up to look into the matter.
We were told that the military was not allocated the land they were laying claim to, so we expected that they will revert to status quo and stop harassing usUnfortunately, last week one person was killed and several others injured when the military tried to forcefully eject them from the land they were farming. When this matter started we petitioned the FCT minister and we were told they were not allocated the land.
The ministry reported the matter to the presidency and a Presidential committee was set up headed by Aba Kyari to look into the matter and they asked the army to stop whatever they were doing thereStill they went there with their bulldozer to dig trenches to stop the indigenes from accessing their villages, he said.
Musa said the committee set up by the government had not taken any step to redress the situation. He said they would not be carried away by promises that the National Assembly was attending to the matter.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Dino Melaye who addressed the protesters urged them to remain calm.
Melaye said the Senate had mandated the committee on Defence to look into the matter with a view to finding a lasting solution.
Source: Voice of Nigeria