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SERDEC demands justice, empowerment for FCT indigenes



A civil society organisation, the Socio-Economic Research and Development Centre, SERDEC, Tuesday, called on the federal government, agencies and international bodies to put an end to what it called the marginalization and economic injustice being perpetrated against the Original Inhabitants, OIs, in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.


The group made the call at the launch of the project, “Promoting the rights of the Original Inhabitants in the Federal Capital Territory,” in Abuja.

The project, supported by the MacArthur Foundation through the Resource Centre for Human Rights Education, CHRICED, has a two-year timeline under the Equitable Recovery Grant to work for ethnic injustice as it concerns the marginalized indigenes of the FCT.

Addressing newsmen at the event, Executive Director, SERDEC, Mr Tijani Abdulkareem, said the project “will enhance equitable access to employment and empowerment programme information to all sections of OIs unemployed young women and men in order to support their enrolment into government programmes.”


At the end of the project cycle in 2023, Abdulkareem said a good number of unemployed youths and women spread across the six Area Councils of the FCT “will benefit from the equitable process of empowerment and employment programmes that are being implemented by government agencies.

He bemoaned the “statelessness” of the FCT saying as a result, “the original inhabitant communities find themselves building feelings of alienation, frustration and bitterness arising from inequitable access to state opportunities.”

Also speaking, the Alkali of Rubochi community, Alhaji Yakubu Kure lamented what he called the lack of job opportunities for indigenes of FCT despite the fact that unlike in the past, they now boast of hundreds of thousands of graduates in various fields.


He dismissed the notion that OIs prefer to sell their lands to non-indigenes for-profit purposes.

According to him, “We have been deprived of our lands in the past but as peaceful people; we often relocate because we are not enemies of progress. We are traditionally farmers.

“Government should come to our aid by providing job opportunities for our children. That way, some of the agitations you see today will die naturally,” he added.


On his part, Dr. Mahmud Jibril, board chairman of SERDEC said the Gbagyi communities in Nigeria deserve a state of their own, lamenting that though they are present in large numbers in FCT, Plateau, Niger, Kaduna, Kogi and Nasarawa states, they are being treated as minorities in the allocation of government resources.




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