The executive Director of Socio – Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC) Tijjani Abdulkareem speaks to newsmen at the official launch of F.C.T – YOUTH NETWORK in Abuja. He speaks about the economic, social and political marginalization the original inhabitants of F.C.T are growing through. Excerpts:
How will you describe the event?
This is a laudable event.
It is important to note that this issue is economic marginalization, on the original inhabitants.
Do you think that what happened in the Niger Delta will be replicated by the youths of F.C.T?
You see, when it comes to the issues around compensation, there has to be a lot of processing of compensation by the government. But how transparent and accountable are the processes?
These are the issues that have come as front burner and have raised questions as to the issue around transparency and accountability of compensation processes.
You see when you push people to the wall and they don’t have a place to go to, they will have to start fighting back.
And as a country, you are looking at ensuring peace and security and socioeconomic justice for all citizens, you will begin to look around on how we can ensure economic justice for the original inhabitants of FCT.
You can see what happened in Niger Delta, we don’t want those kinds of situations to happen in F.C.T, because the original inhabitants of F.C.T have shown that they are tolerable, they are hospitable and they are good people and also accommodating.
And it is also important that people should not take that for granted.
And the government needs to look for a plan and strategy to ensure that most political and economic issues that burden their rights are addressed. And in not doing that they may be pushing them to the wall.
Don’t you think that indigenes of F.C.T should be occupying the position of F.C.T Minister?
You see, there is a court judgment that was secured recently and it says that F.C.T original inhabitants should be appointed Ministers of F.C.T and other positions. We were also embarrassed a few weeks ago when the President submitted the list for the replacement of Ministers who aspired for public offices.
So we expected that the president would have respected that court judgment also to send a nominee from the F.C.T as a Minister to the Senate. And also I think it is not late, the president can also in his own goodwill in support of that court judgment, send the name of an original inhabitant of F.C.T to the National Assembly for them to be represented as a member of the National executive council when the Ministers will be discussing national issues.