Friday, August 9, 2019 7:22 pm
Sen Shehu Sani, a Human Right Activist, has called on the Federal Government to offer more employment and appointment opportunities to natives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), so as to give them a sense of belonging.
“The Federal Government must give the FCT natives a sense of belonging; it should do so through adequate compensation, distribution of political appointments and amenities,” Sani said on Friday in Abuja, at a ceremony to mark this year’s World Indigenous Peoples Day.
The ceremony was organised by the Coalition of FCT Indigenous Association in Abuja.
“The natives should be adequately compensated for the use of their lands. It will not be fair to marginalise them in the sharing of the resources
“The problem of Abuja can be located in the general problem we face as a country and our refusal to reconfigure ourselves politically, socially and economically. This has brought us to where we are today.
“Nation building with proper legislation and adjudication in place can become a blessing to any nation when her citizens are developed as against decimation of her values.
“My submission is that government must address the plight of FCT indigenes and every other geopolitical zone. Government must be considerate. All sides must be given fair hearing,” he said.
The activist also urged government to restructure the country so as to encourage each geo-political zone to develop along its area of best comparative advantage.
“We must restructure for peaceful coexistence and development; restructuring will return the country to the winning formula of the past that facilitated its socio-economic development.
“The North-central zone can optimise its mechanised agricultural potential and harness the Rivers Niger and Benue valleys not just for irrigation, but also for hydroponic farming.
“The zone can then transit into heavy industries, including steel manufacturing and auto-manufacturing, while also harnessing the rivers as inland waterways and tourist attractions,” he said.
Sani said that if the approach was adopted, Nigeria’s 36 states would, within 10 years, evolve into six strong federating geo-political zones and a Federal Capital Territory