The Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) and the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE) said it read with consternation reports that the Federal Capital Territory Administration has finalized plans to resettle some 8000 indigenes from nine communities of the FCT by June, 2013. The report as credited to the Honourable Minister of State for the FCT, Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide, went on to posit that 4,800 indigenes of the FCT are to be given plots of land at Apo in Abuja Municipal Area Council and Galuwyi-Shere in Bwari Area Council;That another 3, 000 indigenes of the FCT will be allocated houses;That 2571 households will be resettled in 1st quarter of 2013 in the Apo Resettlement Scheme;That six communities made up of Utako, Maje, Jabi, Yakubu, Zhilu and Kpaadna with 5172 households would re-settled in the second quarter of 2013 in Galuwyi-Shere and that a report on resettlement and compensation for FCT Indigenes has been produced.
In a statement on Monday,Danladi Jeji,President, OIDA and Emma Ezeazu,Secretary-General, ACE are demanding that the FCT Administration should make public the report of the resettlement committee that they set up. “The Original inhabitants have not received copies of the Report and the report is not in the public domain. We only heard of the release of the report in the media, the contents of the report we are not aware of. The committee responsible for the drafting of the Report promised the indigenes that they would be given the report. The Minister of State has gone ahead to declare that 8000 indigenes will be moved without making available to us copies of the Report. She claims that this policy direction is a major breakthrough. We doubt that claim. We hear from the rumor mills that stakeholders read the report and accepted it. May we ask who these stakeholders are?
“Before proceeding on this policy direction, we want the FCT Administration to publish the names of those allocated houses and land in the first phase of Apo Resettlement. We have it on record that the FCTA officials used the 1st phase of resettlement in Apo to allocate lands and houses to themselves and on this basis we insist that names of those allocated lands and houses in Apo Resettlement should be made public. Not just the names, we need to know the house numbers, reference numbers and the plot numbers. We need to know the names of those allocated the valuable commercial plots in the resettlement scheme.
“There are laws stipulating the process and procedure of government acquisition of land and resettlement. And we want to know whether the FCT Administration has followed constitutional provisions in the resettlements that it has done so far and the ones being proposed. Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) of our country stipulates no moveable property or landed property can be taken by force except prompt compensation is paid to the owner. The owner must be allowed to go to court to determine the amount and nature of compensation.
Even more the groups asked , “what is the reason for this impending relocation? What is the public good in the relocation? We are not opposed to government acquiring land for public good but we want to know the public good involved?”
“We are of the view that the issue of resettlement, compensation and integration of Original inhabitants should be addressed in a holistic manner rather than in a “patch patch” and “wait and take” way.
“That the Federal Capital Territory Administration should publish the list of all beneficiaries of land allocation in the Federal Capital Territory. We have observed that there is a lot of politics involved in the allocation of land in the Federal Capital Territory. Such politics has led to conflict with the wife of Mr. President, Patience Jonathan and wife of the immediate past President, Turai Yar’dua. There is need to follow due process and not political interest in the allocation of land in the FCT.
“Following our argument on due process, we have also noted that the allocation of oil blocks in the Niger Delta follows the same trend of political patronage with the allocation of land in FCT. We therefore demand that the government should publish the names of owners of oil blocks in Nigeria and the process through which they obtained such oil blocks”