- Human Rights Writers’ boss, Emmanuel Onwubiko, has questioned politicians over their interest in Abuja
- Onwubiko believes residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have lost interest in political activities, and are not aware of the Saturday council election
- The rights activist said the legal framework that established Abuja is not being properly implemented, giving room to the injustice the original owners face today
FCT, Abuja - The coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Emmanuel Onwubiko, has reacted to the forthcoming Federal Capital Territory (FCT), election holding on Saturday, February 12, at the nation's capital.
In an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, Onwubiko, said that FCT residents have lost interest in Abuja politics, saying that majority of them are not even aware that an election will be held in a few days to come.
He further alleged that politicians have converted the nation’s capital into a cash cow, as they constantly troop in to influence elections into various positions.
Onwubiko cited the example of the committees set up by political parties where they put governors in charge of the election. According to him, that singular act signifies their interests in capturing Abuja for their own interests.
PAY ATTENTION: Subscribe to Digital Talk newsletter to receive must-know business stories and succeed BIG!
Nothing works in FCT
He said ordinarily, Abuja is supposed to be a megacity where businesses and other things thrive, but that, unfortunately, nothing works in the nation’s capital.
“Unfortunately, Abuja is a cash cow for political officeholders. First and foremost, the law that created the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, conveys that Abuja is no man’s land. This does not mean that there are no natives. They were natives before Abuja was created and the natives should have been resettled adequately, but that did not happen, so every now and then, they are being chased from one place to another. "
He said there is no ethnic group in the country that will accept to forfeit her right to her native land, but that since these people accepted to forfeit their land, they ought to have been resettled and compensated. The Gbagyis and other tribal groups within the FCT, according to him have actually demonstrated some high level of sacrifice. He said such was a fundamental sacrifice.
He said it means that any citizen of the country that resides in the FCT should automatically become an indigene of the FCT. But that in reality, this is not so because people still have to get letters of indigenization before they can become indigenes. According to him, this explains that Abuja as the nation’s capital is allegedly a fraud. He said that politicians are cashing in on the situation to just enrich themselves.”
Who owns Abuja land?
“If they say Abuja is the Federal Capital Territory and the land is for every Nigerian, why did they not resettle the natives? They just resettled less than 15 or 20 percent of them and the rest are just roaming around all over the place and they are still laying claims to their land which is their own right. So the implementation of Abuja legal framework is originally distorted. Something is wrong somewhere, “ he said.
Why people are not interested in FCT council election
According to Onwubiko, politicians who come into office in the FCT are all in for their cash bonanza. He said all the local council chairmen are barely known. he said if one visits the area council within the FCT and ask any student the name of their council chairman- they won’t know.
He said that despite that he is a master of current affairs, he cannot tell one name of any chairman or councilor in the FCT.
“Majority of people are not even aware an election is holding this Saturday. It goes to tell you how bad it’s. They are just people who come to offices to steal and destroy.
Lamenting the situation of things in the FCT, he said that infrastructures have collapsed in most Abuja communities.
According to Onwubiko, FCT communities are not different from communities in Zamfara, Kaduna, and other states in terms of insecurity.
He said some of them living within the city centre are the only ones having relatively some sense of safety. But those who live in far distant area councils like Bwari and Abaji are living in fear.
The rights boss said:
Abaji is constantly being attacked. Farmers have abandoned their farms due to insecurity. Terrorists don’t allow them to farm. We have council chairmen who have done nothing about this situation. And we even have a Minister that we don’t even know what he is doing. There is a major issue with the way things are in Abuja. This has resulted in voters' apathy."
Council election holds on February 12
“I’m supposed to be voting in the election, but I was not even aware of the exercise, just like everyone around me is not aware. Why are governors coming from states to come and campaign for an election? At the local election? The interest of these governors is to capture the city centre and to grab."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that residents of the FCT were expected to vote in the council election holding this weekend, February 12, 2022.
It was reported that INEC had earlier warned politicians and their supporters ahead of the election, saying vote-buying would not be allowed.
According to the report, both politicians and voters are often blamed for allegedly manipulating an electoral system that is supposed to be transparent.