By Stanley Onyekwere
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Micah Jiba, representing Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Bwari Area Council federal constituency of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has urged the National Assembly to consider and approve the demand for mayoral status and Ministerial slot from the original inhabitants of the Territory.
He noted that such approval would ensure that FCT people are treated equally like other Nigeria citizens, and help further strengthen unity and peaceful co-existence as well as booster the nation’s socio-economic development.
Jiba, who is Vice Chairman, House Committee on FCT Area Councils and Auxillary matters, while making this assertion during a chat with newsmen in Abuja, at the weekend, also called for the issue of compensation and Resettlement for FCT original inhabitants to be done adequately and appropriately, because they have nowhere else to go in the nearest future.
According to him, the FCT came to Abuja in 1976, where original inhabitants were found, who in or for hundreds of years to come, would not go anywhere, as they have no other place outside Abuja, hence will remain there.
He however, recalled that the issue of Mayoral status and Ministerial appointment for FCT during the recent Constitution Amendment process, did very were at the Lower House, but at the Upper House (Senate) was killed.
“What we are fighting at the National Assembly – that issue of Mayoral status and Ministerial slot, the National Assembly approve such demand, so that we can be like other Nigerians.
“Abuja as the FCT has come to stay, and this is not the first nation’s capital city that have been enjoying what we are agitating for- like the mayoral status is that the period that states are conducting gubernatorial elections, they should be allowed to elect their mayor or mayoral council.
“People living in Lagos are human beings, and people living in Abuja are equally humans created by God not man. So, our request is that if Lagos people are electing their governor and members of state assembly, we should also be allowed to do likewise.
“Then, if they are appointing Ministers for the federation, FCT indigenes should be appointed too as they were in the Territory before the relocation of nation’s capital to Abuja.
“I’m above 50 years, and the coming of the FCT is not up to 50 years, that will tell that people were here before it came. And we are not saying that the issue of the Ministerial slot should not come to one tribe alone”, he stressed.
On his stewardship in the Lower House of the National Assembly, he said : “I have moved about 7 to 8 motions in the House on things that are affecting FCT; and got 3 bills such like the one seeking conversion of the Technical College, Orozo to a Polytechnic, which has gotten to public hearing at the Senate.
“ I’m executing plenty projects, because I’m representing the two Area Councils- AMAC and Bwari, but if the people are complaining that past representatives didn’t do anything, it’s not about me, as the people are clapping that it is now that they got a representative in the House, because they have seen the projects physically on ground.
“This week, before our primaries, we coming out with a comprehensive list of our constituency projects, as we have documented them, so that everybody should have them, and see that we have done our best within the period I have been in the House, and by June I will be three years in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly”