Thursday, August 10, 2017 4:44 pm
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Indigenous People Association has called on the Federal Government to appoint an indigene as minister and accord state status to the territory.
Mr Yunusa Yusuf, the President of the association made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
Yusuf spoke on the occasion of the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated August 9 every year.
He said the indigenous people of FCT had for long been rendered stateless placing them at a disadvantage when it comes to employment and admission opportunities.
“All we want is to be represented in the Federal Executive Council and be recognised as a state so that we can elect our own governor.
“The indigenous people of FCT have for long been rendered stateless.
“In spite of all the challenges, we are still here, and we are not prepared to go anywhere, because we have nowhere to go,’’ Yusuf said.
He said that if the natives were allowed to elect their governor, members of House of Assembly, and more local area councils created, there would be more accountability and development.
Yusuf said that there was the need to amend the constitution to reflect cosmopolitan nature of Abuja.
“This is our own idea of restructuring, a restructuring based on devolution of governmental powers from federal authorities to Abuja City Authority.
“We must change the constitution to reflect our wishes for a modern and cosmopolitan capital city,” he said.
According to him, the association will adopt dialogue and negotiation and to realise their aspiration.
NAN reports that the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples was set aside to celebrate 370 million indigenous people around the world, their unique culture and relationship with the environment.
The celebration also marks the anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples.
While the landmark Declaration has achieved some major successes, indigenous peoples continue to face exclusion, marginalisation and challenges to their right to self-determination, traditional lands and education.