by Our Correspondent
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Tuesday, February 8th, launched a campaign for the protection of the socio-economic rights of original inhabitants of the Federal capital territory (FCT).
Speaking at the launch, Executive Director of the Socio-Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC), Tijani Abdulkareem at the which was held in Abuja, stated that there was an urgent need for dialogue for economic justice for the original inhabitants of Abuja to avert the repeat of Niger Delta uprising.
According to Abdulkareem, state governments across the country have certain employment and empowerment packages accruing to their indigenes, but leaving out the original inhabitants of the FCT, added further that there was the need for the original inhabitants of Abuja to also enjoy the federal government quota system as enjoyed by states Nigeria.
He, therefore, said the project was aimed at mobilizing and supporting young women and women to participate actively in the formulation and implementation of employment and empowerment programmes.
“The objective of our project is to promote the economic right of the original inhabitant (OIs) young women and men by mobilizing and supporting them to participate actively in formulation and implementation of employment and empowerment programme.
“The project will also enhance equitable access to employment and empowerment programme information to all sections of OIS unemployed young women and men in order to support their enrollment into the government programme.”
AbdulKareem disclosed that the baseline survey done by the group revealed that it was residents of Abuja that benefited from programmes meant for the original inhabitants, which he attributed to a lack of adequate information by the OIs.
Responding to a question on why the municipal area provided by the FCT authority was deserted by the original inhabitants, a district head in kuje, Yakubu Kure said the landmass provided were too small for socio-cultural activities of the people resulting in their continuous migration in search of farmland.
The district head who spoke on behalf of the original inhabitants welcomed the project and called for full implementation. He maintained that the Abuja original inhabitants were solidly behind the project.
Also speaking was. executive director, CHRICED Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi said the original inhabitant of Abuja who had made so much sacrifice for the unity and safety of Nigeria nation should not be relegated to the background economically. The project is been supported by MacArthur Foundation, among others.