FG Tasked to Save Abuja Original Inhabitants

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The federal government has been charged to save the Abuja original inhabitants and their children from statelessness.

The charge was made yesterday by the Helpline Foundation for the Needy with support from MacArthur Foundation.

At a briefing with the support of the Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED), the foundation urged government to give the original inhabitants a listening ear and revamp their cultural heritage through women and youth empowerment and cultural preservation.

Speaking on the President,  Helpline Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said over 81 aboriginal inhabitants of the FCT had been trained on cultural skills and were ready to continue to preserve their culture in the place where their land is fast becoming a no man’s land.

Represented by the project officer, Onoja Arome, Ahmadu said 17 projects have been carried out by the Foundation across its five proposed objectives, among the major FCT

She lamented that the tribes have their separate colours and fabrics for unique cultural identification, which were becoming extinct before the timely intervention of the MacArthur Foundation and CHRICED.

She said the Helpline Foundation had also taken steps to advocate for the preservation of cultural sites like the dye pits of Ushafa, the iron smelting sites of Takushara, the gold tunnels and the colonial ludges in Takushara.

“As we speak, the dyeing pits in Ushafa have been reclaimed and work is currently ongoing which means our advocacy has reached physical intervention. By the first week of November, we shall be visiting Takushara with our sponsor organization on a tour to further advocate on the preservation of the relics available there,” she said.

She also stressed that urbanization, occasioned by the acquisition of land for the development of the nation’s capital has rendered the original inhabitants of the FCT stateless without adequate compensations.

Ahmadu said statelessness will infringe on the constitution of the country’s region and security.

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