The Indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) says it rejects in totality the purported mass relocation of the original inhabitants to a permanent site, this was made known in a statement issued by an association, the Greater Gbagyi Development Initiative (GG-DIN) as it described the planned relocation of the original inhabitants of Abuja to the proposed permanent site in 2015 as a mirage, unrealistic, unattainable and unacceptable to them.
In a statement signed by the President of GG-DIN, Prince Gbaiza Gimba, they reject in totality any such relocation as historically it has not worked and tantamount to dislocation, further impoverishment and deprivation of their people and that it shows clear and shear shallowness in the approach developed by the government in recent years to solving the artificial problem of how to deal with the original inhabitants of Abuja.
According to Gbaiza, on Thursday, October 30, 2014, they read with great shock the comment in the news by Senator Smart Adeyemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, that the original inhabitants of Abuja are to be relocated to their permanent site in 2015.
He said, “The purported plan to us is tantamount to further human rights abuses and does not in any way make provision for the livelihood of our people as it treats us as refugees and other unthinkable things. The plan to carry out wholesome or unwholesome relocation of the indigenous peoples of Abuja to the fictitious permanent site without any prior consultation or discussion on the matter is unacceptable and is genocidal.
“We have met with Senator Smart several times and believe in his sincerity, feelings and wishes for the indigenous peoples of the FCT. Our problem is with their praxis, with the poor intellectual and elitist solution for our predicament that was artificially imposed on us.
“We find exception to Senator Adeyemi’s remark that our people sell houses given to them. The so-called houses are a dislocation from our homes. They take our homes and give us houses. They take our lands and give us nothing and compensate their bank accounts and those of their cronies.
“Why would we not sell those houses when we are artificially turned into destitute and there are no economic activities and sustainable system attached to the houses given to some of us? How do we feed our families? How do we send our children to schools and cater for their welfare. How do we cater for our children and women? Where do we farm to continue our existence? How do we maintain our culture and tradition? Where is the economy in the so called relocation centres?”
Gbaiza said that the government should leave them alone where they are and provide them with development programmes that befits their status as original inhabitants and owners of the land FCT, saying that what is good for the Niger Deltans is good for the Abuja indigenes.
“We are not homeless and there is no justification for relocating us away from the center of development at the Federal Capital. If the statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan that he wants to make us happy is true and sincere, he should leave us where we are to enjoy the development of the Federal Capital, rather than sending us on exile.
“We never asked for houses as we are not homeless neither are we destitute. We have homes, houses and accommodate others. We are asking for development. Relocation is not development, but abuse of power and oppression as far as our people are concerned. We have cried for decades and government and political office holders have been deaf because they aggrandize for and covet our land.”