CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW: FCT indigenes talk tough, threaten mass protest against NASS

By Lizzy Chirkpi

 OrderPaperToday – Following the rejection of a bill seeking to appoint an indigene of Abuja for ministerial slot by the National Assembly, natives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have threatened a mass protest.

 Articulating the position of the indigenes, Youth Chairman of Garki Village, Mr. Emmanuel Danbaki, warned that if the National Assembly fails to reverse it’s decision then they should be ready for the outcome.

 Danbaki made this known on Thursday in a telephone interview with OrderPaper.ng He disclosed that the natives of the FCT will stage a protest when the National Assembly resumes from its recess, describing the action of the lawmakers as shocking and complete injustice

He said: “We are totally saying no to the rejection of that bill even though we are peace loving people. It is enough that we have accepted the seat of government in our soil despite that we have not asked for anything in return.

 “We have accepted FCT in good faith, without violence but usually in Nigeria when dialogue fails the  next action is violence though I can assure you we are peace loving and  would continue to dialogue until we are heard”.

 Recall that the House of Representatives rejected a clause in the constitutional amendment voting which sought to appoint an indigene of the FCT as minister who would represent Abuja natives in the Federal Executive Council.

 However, out of 292 persons present at plenary only 191 voted in favour of the bill, 3 abstained and 91 voted against it, causing a lack of the two-third majority required to scale through. At the Senate however, the bill scaled through.

 The youth leader expressed umbrage saying “what the House of Representatives did came to us as a surprise; they didn’t think of the consequences of rejecting that clause. Why are we not treated as a state as stipulated in the 1999 constitution?”

 He appreciated the191 lawmakers who voted ‘Yes’ but took a swipe at 91 others who voted ‘No’ which led to the non-passage of the bill that could not meet the threshold of 240 persons making two third majority of members of the House of Representatives as required by the constitution.

 Mr. Danbaki said further: “Our representatives did well but we were betrayed by their colleagues and for this reason we are casting ancestral curse on them and we would look for their certificate of occupancy of any landed properties in FCT and revoke them; that I can assure you.

“We would re-strategize and stage a protest when they resume and it is only the Senate President that can come and address us if they say no, we would block all entrances to National Assembly until they do our bidding.”

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