The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) courtesy visit to focus communities seek to relate more on the issues that affect the Original Inhabitants of FCT and also collaborate with them on how their voices can be heard, amplified and how their rights can be promoted.CTA paid a courtesy visit to the Sa’peyi of Garki chiefdom in preparation for the United Nations International Day for Indigenous peoples.

Objective(s) of the activity:

–           To ensure that community members and traditional heads participate fully in the World’s Indigenous day celebration.

CTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S SPEECH                                                                                                                               The Executive Director thanked His Royal Highness Usman Nga-Kupi for the warm reception and extended her condolences to the palace for the death of some of their people. she pointed out that Mr Lazarus Nyaholo has represented His Royal highness well by his participation in meetings organized by the project.                              The Executive Director mentioned that CTA’s focus on the project is on Promoting Cultural Values and Environmental Rights of Original Inhabitants (OIs) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) through Drama and Art Forms and added that a lot of activities have already been carried out to meet up with this overall goal. She went further to highlight some of the activities CTA has organized with respect to meeting the broad objective of promoting the Rights of the Original Inhabitants.                                                                                                            –           A campaign to put a significant piece at the city gate

–           Conducted a baseline survey

–           Community visits: got to kuje and noticed that the people of Godoji do not even have good drinking water.

–           Held a press conference on the Mayoral seat of the FCT people.

–           CTA has also thought of capturing the younger ones in Secondary Schools but has a challenge of working with the FCT Secondary Board. She stated that all these activities would have not been possible without the support from the palace and the Original Inhabitants themselves and added that there are a lot of activities lined up for the week to commemorate the UN World Indigenous People Celebration.                                                              The Executive Director spoke about other focus areas of CTA apart from the Original Inhabitants project. Areas like Elections and Extractives.

RESPONSE FROM HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS.                                                                                                                           He thanked the team for their support so far on the project and especially for their effort in looking inward to the challenges of the Original Inhabitants of FCT. He stated that he has always been briefed about CTA’s activities, even down to the visit to the hill.

He mentioned that the Original Inhabitants are faced with a series of challenges and went forward to say that sometimes when he analyses it, he blames the ignorance of his people (Original Inhabitants generally).

He encouraged CTA to do more for the indigenous people of FCT most especially in the area of politics and added that his people are yet to fully understand what politics truly is and hope that even if they all support different political parties, it should never lead to division among them but rather justice and fairness for the indigenous people of FCT should be the main focus.

In the aspect of the environment, he stated that the Original Inhabitants of FCT are the most affected people after the Niger delta regions. Some of the challenges the original Inhabitants of FCT now face is as a result of the political class accumulating wealth for themselves at the detriment of others and investing it outside the country for other citizens to enjoy. This action has led to a high rate of unemployment and even insurgency as a result of idleness.

He explained that the country needs a change of scenario, from the number one citizen to the least person. Nigeria needs a serious National Orientation so that things can change in every aspect because some of the policies do not align with the norms and values of the people.

In the aspect of capturing the younger ones on the project and partnering with the FCT Secondary Education Board, His Royal Highness committed that he would follow up on the collaboration with the board but suggested that CTA should clearly state areas that they would like to engage the young ones in so that the board can understand the level of engagement and involvement.

Outcomes:                                                                                                                                                                      –           Commitment of the Royal Highness and willingness to collaborate with CTA on the project especially his commitment to following up with the FCT secondary school Board.           

Conclusions/ Recommendations                                                                                                                                        In conclusion, His Royal Highness expressed that Nigeria is our country so let us celebrate and preserve it for the younger generation. Let us always promote peace, and unity and learn to encourage one another.

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