By Okechukwu Jombo
Federal Capital Territory (FCT) indigenous communities have been assured that their prolonged agitation for proper recognition of Abuja as prescribed by the constitution will receive adequate boost when the National Assembly reconvenes after the 2023 general elections.
A Federal Capital Territory senatorial candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress [APC], Hon, Zakari Angulu Dobi, who gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen in Dobi, appealed to the federal government to liaise with lawmakers from the territory to do the needful for Abuja and its people according to the provisions of the constitution.
Alhaji Zakari expressed concern over the nonchalant attitude of various administrations since 1990 to agitations by indigenes of the territory that the letters of the constitution, as it affects the status of Abuja and the rights of its people to be represented in the federal cabinet, should be properly addressed.
He recalled that the constitution specifically stated that Abuja shall be treated as if it were one of the states of the federation and granted a state status like what happened in Lagos when it was a federal capital.
Zakari wondered why it has been difficult for each federal administration, starting with General Ibrahim Babangida, to appoint an FCT indigene as minister or upgrade Abuja to a status of a state to enable the people enjoy the rights and privileges associated with it.
The former House of Representatives members said: “What we are yearning for is that an FCT indigene should be appointed as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and allocated responsibilities like other ministers. It is not bad or too much to ask that one of our sons or daughters should be appointed minister and that a mayor should be appointed for Abuja.”
“Look at the Niger Delta, for example, all the ministers appointed to oversee the region has always been people from the area. We are saying that there should be a representative of FCT indigenous people among or in the cabinet of the president, so that we can have a voice in the cabinet”, he added.