Abuja indigenes besiege National Assembly, protest alleged killing by military - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News

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Tuesday, April 16

Abuja indigenes besiege National Assembly, protest alleged killing by military




Lawmakers, staff and visitors, Tuesday, were prevented from gaining access to the National Assembly premises from all entrances, following a protest by indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).

The protesters, under the aegis of Coalition for FCT Indigenous Groups, were seen in their numbers besieging the national assembly and causing gridlock at the main entrance, villa gate and gate to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

They wielded placards with inscriptions such as “It is seven days now that FCT native was killed, Nigerian Army stop killing FCT natives, protect natives and properties not the opposite”.

The Leader of the group, Dalhatu Musa said they would not give up until their demand was met.

The group had embarked on renewed protest last Thursday over alleged killing and maiming of some indigenes by the military over alleged acquisition of land.

They alleged forceful takeover of lands by Nigerian Army in Giri, Kpakuru, Ido Saraki, Zuba and Tungan Maje.

Musa said the struggle to stop military brutality over the land started in 2016 and had continued without positive outcome.

The leader of the group said as law-abiding citizens, the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello had been petitioned with a committee set up to look into the matter.

He said, “We were told that the military was not allocated the land they were laying claim to. So, we expected that they will revert back to status quo and stop harassing us.

“Unfortunately, last week one person was killed and several others injured when the military tried to forcefully eject them from the land they were using for farming.

“When this matter started we petitioned the FCT minister and we were told they were not allocated the land.

“The ministry reported he matter to the presidency and a Presidential committee was set up headed by Abba Kyari to look into the matter and they asked the army to stop whatever they were doing there.

“Still they went there with their bulldozer to dig a trenches to stop the indigenes from accessing their villages,” he said.

Musa said they were not going to be taken in by promises that the National Assembly was attending to the matter.

He stated that the senate last week committed the matter to the Committee on Defence, saying it has been a ploy designed to keep the matter in abeyance.

Musa insisted that they would not bulge until the Senate President, Bukola Saraki or Speaker of the House of Representatives addressed them.

Meanwhile, the Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, Sen. Dino Melaye, who was directed to speak to the protesters, urged them to remain calm.

He said the senate had mandated the Committee on Defence to look into the matter and provide a lasting solution.