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Abuja Indigenes Threaten to Shut Down City Over Council Chairmen’s Tenure Elongation

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Indigenous youths of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday resumed their protest against the tenure elongation of area council chairmen whose term of office came to an end on 20 May.

The youths, under the auspices of the Coalition of FCT Concerned Youths, threatened to cripple business activities in the territory after 48 hours if their demands are unmet.

The convener of the group, Joshua Yohanna said tension had been brewing among the indigenes of the FCT over an alleged grand plan by the outgoing area council chairmen to arm-twist the law in order to remain in office for one more year.

This development according to him was an attempt to disenfranchise and shut out the original inhabitants from making their voices heard through the electoral process.

The tenure of the six area council chairmen ended on 19 May, with the newly elected chairmen expected to take over office the following year.

In Yohanna's words, "As the Original inhabitants of the FCT, in spite of our continuous marginalisation and public outcry of lack of inclusion in the polity of Nigeria, we have always maintained the peace in the FCT, our ancestral home and heritage.

"You will all recall, that on Monday 23rd of May 2022, again as a people, under the aegis of Original Inhabitants Coalition, marched to the FCDA gate in protest against any attempt for tenure elongation through the back door, by the outgoing chairmen of the area councils of the FCT.

"In the absence of the Minister, the Permanent Secretary addressed us and urged for calm while promising to expedite action in 48 hours' time (which has long expired) and go ahead with the swearing-in.

“We also know, that the Honourable Minister, Mohammed Bello stands for fairness, equity, and justice and we are sure, that he will do anything within his purview to ensure that the six area council chairmen are sworn in.

“We are therefore by this notice, issuing another 48-hour ultimatum with effect from Thursday, 9 June 2022, for the newly elected Area Council Chairmen, to be sworn into their respective offices, to commence the job that our people have elected them to do.

"Failure to comply, will leave us with no other option than to carry out a peaceful protest on all the major roads leading into the FCT, which will cause a restriction to vehicular movement.”


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