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FCT Indigenes Demand 30% For Land Swap

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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

Abuja indigenes have declared that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) must accede to their (indigenes) demand of 30 percent, if the administration wishes its dreams of land swap to come true.

Speaking on behalf of the Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA), Barrister Musa Baba Panya, counsel to the group, also hinted that the youths of Bukpe Village in Kwali Area Council have accused the FCTA of giving away 101 hectares of their land to Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, former governor of Sokoto State.

Panya, who made the submission before the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on Improper Allocation of Lands in FCT on Tuesday, observed that the demand was the outcome of the FCT stakeholders’ sub committee’s consultations.

In his presentation before the Bimbo Daramola-led committee, Panya warned FCT personnel to stay clear of their communities, pending the conformity of the deal.

“We state categorically that, despite the provisions of Section 1 of FCT Act, it remains immutably and unequivocally explicit that for as long as the compensation for FCT remains unpaid by the Federal Government, the Abuja indigenous people own their lands. On our ancestral lands we stand.

“We demand that government withholds land swap and other policies of land confiscation and demolition of indigenous communities in the FCT until there is a genuine dialogue and agreement between Abuja indigenous people and the Federal Government on ownership of FCT lands.

“Until such a time that the land swap programme and indeed the FCTA is willing and ready to accede to the demand of 30 percent to PAP/Community Trust Fund as demanded by FCT indigenes/OIDA, then, the concerned private companies (investors) and indeed all FCTA personnel are best advised to stay clear of our lands and communities. The honourable minister (Bala Mohammed), we are telling you once again, no 30 percent, no land swap,” Panya declared.

Panya observed that it is ridiculous for the minister to be talking about compensation for 2013 when he is still owing the 1976 compensation.

The committee also received a rescue letter from the concerned youths of Bukpe village, who are seeking for compensation as justice.

In the letter, the group, who urged that alternative farming area should be provided for them, added that “all farm produce should not be destroyed, but allow the farmers to harvest them.”

In his submission, Daramola observed that there is question to the fact that allocation was not given to a community, which applied for 72 hectares of land, whereas an individual’s application for 101 hectares of land, which covers five villages of Kwali Area Council, was granted.

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