Akin Akande, Abuja
An indigenous group in the Federal Capital Territory, Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) has called for creation of two additional Senatorial districts and four more House of Representatives constituencies in the FCT by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and National Assembly as the electoral body prepares for constituency delineation across the country.
It also wants ten additional local government areas created in FCT.
The group said this became imperative due to population explosion currently being witnessed in Abuja as the nation’s capital currently has one senatorial district and one member of house representatives with just six Area Councils.
It however, saluted the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution for giving voice to their aspirations through the inclusion of a mayoralty system of governance for the Abuja in its recommendations.
In a press release jointly signed by the President of the group Pastor Danladi Jeji and Mr. Emma Ezeazu of the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), OIDA states that “the constitutional amendment of Sections 299 and 302 of the 1999 Constitution by the Senate gives credence to the indigenous peoples quest for democratization of governance in the FCT as contained in its memoranda submitted to the National Assembly and as earlier proposed by the Barrister Solomon Ewuga-led ministerial committee on FCT Indigeneship, Land and Political Administration in Year 2000.”
If passed into law, the group noted that “a democratically elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor will aid good governance and accountability to the FCT electorate unlike the present ministerial system that lacks transparency and accountability to the people.
It will also put Nigeria on the global map as one of the nations with an elected mayor that runs the capital city in accordance with the aspiration of its residents and the nation.”
The FCT original inhabitants stated the recommendations of the Senator Ike Ekweremadu-led Committee are in tandem with the peoples desire for a democratic system that allows Abuja indigenes and other Nigerians resident in the city to freely elect leaders that can be directly held responsible by them.
Calling on the House of Representatives to “make public the results of the Peoples Public Session conducted in the two constituencies in the FCT,” the people urged the House to demonstrate its commitment to democratic ethos by towing the line of the Senate committee in order to dismantle the military contraption that presently serves as administrative system in FCT.
While expressing hope that both arms of the National Assembly will pass the bill as proposed, the FCT people called on the 36 states House of Assembly to expressly vote for the amendment when presented to them.