OrderPaperToday – A Coalition of FCT (Federal Capital Territory) indigenous association shut down the gates of the National Assembly on Wednesday, preventing entry and exit for hours.
Their protest is over the alleged forceful take over of their lands by the Nigerian Army. Watch a one minute video of the protest laced with ritual performances here:
The lands allegedly invaded by the military are in Giri, Kpakuru, Ido Sarki, Zuba and Tungan Maje areas of the federal capital.
One of the youth leaders, Abdulkari Babaya narrated the ordeal of the communities ordeal to the OrderPaperNG.
Babaya said: “Last week,we were here about what Nigerian army has been doing to our people. They are using force, chasing us from our farms, lands and houses , we have no where to go. They are beating our mothers and wives. We have been writing yet the government did not take any action.
“The issue is they want to collect our land just like that and told our people in those places to quit and leave and we are not ready to leave because that is where our forefathers keep us.
“We have been there for over 20 years, so why will Nigerian army come from nowhere and chase us. They are using their guns to kill us, scatter our crops. Anytime we start planting, they come and damage it.”
He accused the federal government of selective intervention.
He said: “Are we not part of this country? Why are they treating us different from others? Just a minute something happened in Katsina, they rushed and sent a delegation to stop the menace.”
He threatened that the group will also shut down activities at the Abuja the airport if nothing is done on the matter.
He said: We are telling them that we have just started. If they don’t listen to us, we are blocking the airport. Let us die. Except you want to push us to be the same thing that Buratai do in Maiduguri. I know how to handle a gun.”
According to the youth leader, over 30 people have been affected as casualties.
One of the recent victim is Hamza Usman who was allegedly killed by the army during one of their protest.
Meanwhile, the FCT Senator, Philip Aduda had brought up the matter in the chamber and it was referred to the Committee on Defence.
Three Senators, Dino Melaye, Philip Gyunka and Abdullahi Danbaba on behalf of the Senate addressed the protesters.
Melaye informed that the meeting was scheduled yesterday but did not hold as a result of his absence.
He promised to meet with Senate committee Chairman of Defence at the office of the FCT Senator by 2pm.