Following claims by the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, that he had been approached by natives of the FCT who requested that he continue to stay in office and not return to Bauchi to pursue his ambition to become governor, the natives, under the auspices of the Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA), have branded the statement “disrespectful and a lie”.
The OIDA has advised native communities and residents in the FCT to disregard the crusade of “sycophants” who have embarked on a media campaign, calling on Mohammed not to leave the office of the FCT minister to pursue his political ambitions in Bauchi State due to his alleged positive impact on Abuja natives.
In a statement signed by its media adviser, Shagari Sambo, the pan-FCT group cautioned political sycophants in the FCT, especially supporters of Mohammed, to stop playing politics with the constitutional and socio-economic demands of Abuja natives.
“Certain policies and mega projects of the present FCT administration, like the land-swap, Centenary City Project and many others are all aimed at short-changing Abuja natives and we see no reason why some unknown groups should claim that our people have benefited from such elitist policies that do not even benefit ordinary Nigerians resident in Abuja.
“Abuja indigenous people remain cheated without proper resettlement and compensation for their seized lands as enshrined in Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Hence, OIDA’s rejection of such policies as the land-swap which, in our view, debases the humanity of the original inhabitants whose lands continue to be illegally taken away for over 38 years now by the Federal Government of Nigeria,” it stated.
OIDA further said that it has repeatedly drawn the attention of the Senator Bala-led FCT administration to the huge developmental challenges facing Abuja natives and communities such as lack of schools, teachers and hospitals or roads in interior townships and villages without receiving a reply.
The indigenes said, while they do not hold personal grudges against Mohammed for the lack of democratic laws for proper governance of the capital city, they however feel slighted by the groups using his name to hoodwink Nigerians and Abuja residents into believing that the territory cannot function without him.
“We feel these unknown groups are being sponsored by fifth columnists to influence President Goodluck Jonathan into reappointing their mentor in the event of a cabinet reshuffle or after winning the 2015 election. We want such groups to be called to order. OIDA also cautions these groups not to turn FCT natives into a laughing stock before other Nigerians.