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Alleged Incursion: Abuja natives vow to resist Nigerian Army

Natives of Abuja have vowed to resist the purported quit notice allegedly issued by the Nigerian Army to residents of Tungan Maje and Giri in Gwagwalada Area Council of the territory.

The natives, under the aegis of Coalition of FCT Indigenous Associations, described the move by the Nigerian Army as laughable and ridiculous, stressing that “the natives are prepared to explore any means possible to resist the military incursion into their ancestral land.”

Addressing journalists in Tungan Maje, the spokesman of the group, Comrade Yunusa Yusuf, said the Abuja natives had sought for National Assembly intervention before the expiration of the quit notice on August 3, 2019.

“We invited you to this very important press conference because of the disturbing and laughable quit notice to Abuja natives by the Nigerian Army. It is laughable because it is a case of a tenant giving a quit notice to his landlord. However, we are not treating the matter with levity because they have access to heavy weapons of mass destruction purchased by taxpayer’s money. We will do anything constitutionally to reclaim our ancestral land.

“We consider this a wonderful opportunity to re-state our plight on the incessant harassment, brutality, intimidation and forceful acquisition of our ancestral land by the Nigerian Army.

“As you may recall, we staged a protest and also presented a petition to the National Assembly on April 17, 2019, against the invasion and killing of Hamza Usman by the Nigerian Army. The senate immediately constituted an Ad-hoc committee on the matter who in turned called for a public investigative hearing on the April 29, 2019 where all stakeholders namely; The FCT Minister, the Nigerian Armed Forces, office of the National Security Adviser. (NSA), Inspector General of Police (IGP), DG Department of State Services (DSS), Human Rights Commission and the natives of FCT.

“At the public investigative hearing, vital presentations were made by all stakeholders invited and the FCT Minister through the Permanent Secretary, reaffirmed to the committee that the said land was never allocated to the Nigerian Army nor is their proposed facilities captured in the Abuja master plan and that there is no document in the FCTA archives bearing same.

“At the end of the public investigative hearing, the senate Ad-hoc Committee on Defence chaired by Senator Abubakar Kyari came up with the resolutions as thus; That the Nigerian Army should keep off activities from the said land and that FCT natives put a hold on their protests pending the final outcome from the committee on the said matter,” he stated.

The group, however, expressed shock that despite move by the natives for amicable resolution of the disputed land portion, the Nigerian Army had the audacity to issue a quit notice to Abuja natives without recourse to National Assembly resolutions.

Yusuf further said; “while the natives obeyed and keep to the resolutions of the committees as stated above, the Nigerian Army went ahead with a ground breaking ceremony to continue their activities on the said disputed land against the resolutions of the committees which prompted our protest and the encounter with the Vice President on his way to the airport where he alighted from his vehicle and pleaded with us to down our placards and clear the highway as our cry has been heard and that necessary steps will be taken to resolve the issue.

“Unfortunately, after the meeting on May 13, 2019, we have waited patiently for a response from the office of the Vice President even though the Nigerian Army have continued to forcefully develop the disputed land and harassment of the Abuja Original Inhabitants on the said land unabated.

“We have waited patiently but running out of patience and our silence and respect for the office of the Vice President, National Assembly and other constituted authorities should not be perceived as fear to defend our lives and property in our own way”.

The group therefore called on the House of Representatives which oversees the people of the FCT to prevail on the Nigerian Army to steer clear of the land and obey the resolutions of the National Assembly, Presidential committee and the intervention of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on this matter, warning that FCT natives will never fold their hands and watch the army eject them forcefully from their legitimate ancestral land.

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