HipCity Centre Launches Project to Address Injustice Against Abuja Indigenes
The HipCity Innovation Centre have launched a project that seeks to address the age-long injustice committed against the Original Inhabitants (OIs) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Tagged: “Promoting the Rights of Original Inhabitants of Abuja,” the program is geared towards ‘Advocating for access to inclusive basic service delivery for original inhabitants of Abuja with a focus on education, health, WASH and environment’.
It is supported and funded by the Catherine T. and John D. MacArthur Foundation, together with Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED).
The launching event, held on Thursday, attracted eminent traditional rulers in Abuja, civil society bodies, distinguished guests and some indigenes of the FCT.
Giving an overview of the project, Mr. Bassey Bassey, said in the last 30 years and most recently, their Innovation Centre witnessed and observed government make failed attempts to relocate and resettle the original inhabitants to new locations without the provision of basic services.
“All of these catalyzes us to support local communities in holding government to account in the delivery of basic services and the inclusion of citizens in government plans and actions, and to demand to be treated fair and not as second class citizens,” he added.
Bassey, Executive Director of HipCity Innovation Centre, explained that having identified the challenges, and gaps in basic service delivery across the six (6) Area Councils of Abuja, the project they have launched will be advocating for inclusive basic service delivery in OI communities to reduce the already widened inequality suffered by the original inhabitants of the FCT.
He said: “In the next two years, HipCity Innovation Centre is committing to build synergy with supply actors (government) in co-creating citizen-centred projects that will ultimately impact on the lives of the OIs.
“Among other things, we shall also serve as a reporting channel to amplify the challenges of OIs across the 17 Chiefdoms to relevant MDAs with the mandate of service delivery.”
Representatives of traditional leaders and civil society organisations at the event, in their separate remarks, pledged to support and work with HipCity Innovation Centre, so as to tackle the challenges facing OI communities in the nation’s capital.