The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) on Tuesday in Abuja launched its Project, on ‘Promoting Cultural Values and Rights of Original Inhabitants (Ols) in the FCT through Drama and Art Forms’. The launching took place at Grace-Point Hotel, Zone 6, Wuse on December 14 ,2021.
Executive Director of the Centre, Ms Faith Nwadishi during the launch told participants and the media that the project aims to draw government attention to the plight of the Original Inhabitants (Ols) of the FCT. She equally informed the stakeholders that the project is with support from MacArthur Foundation through the Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED)while she stated further that the objectives of the project include improved awareness and voice of FCT Original Inhabitants about their rights and responsibilities. She used the opportunity of the project launch to bring to the attention of the stakeholders the decades of abandonment while the original inhabitants had faced several forms of infringement on their fundamental rights which the project is set to address.
In his remarks, the Esu Bwari Dr Ibrahim Yaro lamented that the original inhabitants were so marginalised “that we have no say in the scheme of things in the FCT”.
Yaro who was represented by Mr Awoyi, Youth President Bwari Area Council lamented that the Original Inhabitants have been displaced and their ancestral lands taken from them.“We no longer have places to farm,” he said. According to him, the Original Inhabitants also have been denied Federal appointments. He commended CTA on the project saying it was a noble gesture.
During the Launch, the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) threw its weight behind the project, stating that it is deserving to restore and preserve the economic and cultural heritage of the Original Inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory. Team Leader, Communication and Advocacy, NEITI, Kazeem Lameed, said the project was essentially a sustainability issue, as it touched on the economy and culture of the people. Lameed said the surest way to destroy a people economically, was to destroy their culture and identity. He said the project will not only assist the people to revive their culture and livelihoods, but will bring transparency and accountability to the mining activities going on in communities of the Federal Capital Territory.
In attendance were, the Civil Society, community representatives, Major stakeholders, the media, and other highly placed dignitaries among which are HRH Bala Yakubu, The Acting district head of Kubwa, Comrade J.H. Awoyi, Youth President, Bwari Area council, Baba Abdulhamid, Assistant secretary Ushafa, Joseph Jatinsa, Representative Mpape district, Kazeem Lameed, Representative of NEITI, Clement Wasah, Executive Director of APRI, Armsfree Ajanaku, Representative of CHRICED and many others. The Project launch provided a great opportunity to bring major stakeholders and beneficiaries on a common understanding and an overview of the project; to Promoting cultural values and Rights of Original Inhabitants (OIs) In Federal Capital Territory (FCT) through Drama and Theatre.
Comrade J.H. Awoyi, Youth President, Bwari Area council, Representing the Esu of Bwari
Mr. Jacob Sananu an Original Inhabitants of FCT delivering a speech
Welcome speech by the Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy
Armsfree Ajanaku, Program Manager, representative of CHRICED.
Cultural Entertainment by the Ora drummers from Bwari Area Council
Mr.Clement Wasah, Executive Director, APRI. rendering His Good will message.
Oluwajo Babatunde, CTA Board member delivering a goodwill message
Mr. Ajafar of CHRICED rendering a speech