Abuja Indigenes under the umbrella of the Original Inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have demanded a full compensation measure for the demolition exercises carried out by the authorities of the FCT Development Authority, without proper resettlement exercise.
To this end, if their demands are not met, they will resist further demolition attempts on their settlements within the territory without first providing them with good alternatives.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, the leader of Dagbalo community in Apo area of the FCT, Rev. Danjuma Dara, said that the recent decision of the government to proffer an alternative solution to compensate the FCT indigenes before embarking on further demolition of indigenous settlement in the territory is coming rather too late.
He recalled that few years ago his community Dagbalo village, was forcefully driven from their ancestral home without proper resettlement.
“I could remember that on the 30 of July 2013 FCDA officials with two pick up van loaded with armed soldiers stormed our community and demolished our homes, destroyed our farms and economic trees within 5 days.
“The case was then reported to Apo divisional police station and we also filed a case at Jabi High Court; and we are hoping to see justice prevail because we do not have any other home and our children are growing so fast, without hope of where to live without demolition threat,” he stressed.
Continuing he alleged that, “sometime two years ago, a 22 years-old lady was shot and killed by the FCDA police in Akpajenya village ,when a wealthy woman came with offer of allocation paper with armed soldiers with a view to claiming ownership of the land forgetting the original inhabitants of the community.
” But since the vast land now known as FCT was taken over by the Federal Government in 1976, the indigenous people of FCT have literarily been under ‘perennial terrorization’ by government officials and private land grabbers using military and police personnel to deprive them of their farmlands and homesteads with neither compensation nor resettlement.”
He however, accused FCDA officials of shortchanged names of the community beneficiaries on the alternative resettlement area given to them.
He further disclosed that the community has written to the authorities of the FCDA severally that they want to have a dialogue with them over the development, but they have refused to grant them audience.
“We are no longer begging to see them, we demand that they must see us or they will not be comfortable with our next action; and we want to also advise the government to stay from out father’s land and our ancestral homes because we do not have anywhere to go.
” We have sacrificed enough for this nation, and the minister is not seeing it that way but he will always pay us with sending development control to bring down our homes, enough is enough, the government has pushed us to the wall, that we are peace loving people does not mean that we does know our right,” he emphasized.