While the majority of Nigerians are still trying to come to terms with the Super Eagles failure to book a ticket to Qatar 2022 world cup, the original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory have linked the poor outing of the national team to the ancestral curse placed on the land where the Moshood Abiola Stadium is built.
The original inhabitants said as long as successive administrations of the FCT feign ignorance to the plight of the people, no football match played there will come out successful until they are appeased by way of compensation.
Recall that the super eagles were held to a 1-1 draw at the Moshood Abiola Stadium on Tuesday, making the team lose out in the qualification bid for Qatar 2022 world tournament.
Shortly after the match, fans who were disappointed with the abysmal outing of the national team stormed the pitch destroying some of the facilities on ground.
According to Lazarus Nyaholo, Secretary Garki Chiefdom in the FCT, “if they like let them play 10 matches on that pitch, they will never emerge victorious because the original inhabitants that were in that location were chased out unceremoniously without compensation and they laid a curse on that land”.
Nyaholo made the revelation on Wednesday while speaking at a town hall meeting on Mining Community Development Agreements CDAs and Inauguration of Community Cultural Ambassadors organised by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA).
Speaking further, Nyaholo said the original inhabitants have been reduced to paupers because they have no elected representatives to project their grievances before constituted authorities.
He equally said having no representatives in the Federal Executive Council was also marginalising the original inhabitants of the FCT.
“There is no aspect of human endeavour that the original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory are not affected negatively. When you talk of politics you can see the ratio of our representation in the National Assembly only two House of Representatives member and one Senator against what you have three in other states and more than five in the case of the House of Representatives.
” The decision body of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the original inhabitants of FCT are not participants, so whatever decision is taken there, people of the FCT are not taken into consideration because we have no voice there.
“Economically we have been reduced to paupers because our land which is our source of livelihood, you know before the creation of FCT, we were predominantly farmers, now there is no land to farm and each land taken away is not being replaced or compensated for, most times our people are compensated just for the economic trees on the land, but for the landed property itself nobody has ever been compensated and our worries are that the FCT is just about 8000 square kilometres and when its fully developed there will be no farmland in the entire FCT,” the Garki Chiefdom Secretary lamented.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy CTA, Faith Nwadishi corroborated the claims of Nyaholo, insisting that the mining sites of the original inhabitants should be protected from encroachment because of their cultural values.
The town hall meeting which later culminated in the inauguration of cultural ambassadors also tutored the people on how to go about protecting their common heritage sites without breaching the law.
She said, “CTA is one of the organisations promoting the rights of the original inhabitants of the citizens of FCT.
“Under the project, we are promoting the cultural rights of the original rights, especially for them to have development agreements that will protect their cultural rights and ensure that they live responsible mining activities.
“In FCT there are nine tribes. We found out that there were people living here, proper lands were not made for the relocation of these people or for the protection of their cultural, economic and political life.
“We have just come from the constitution amendment. Three requirements for the FCT. We have 36 states including the FCT. But as FEC is constituted, we don’t have an FCT representative at FEC.
“Since the creation of FCT in 1976, we have not had an Original inhabitant as minister of the FCT.
A lot of the cultural sites in the FCT have either been destroyed because of mining, construction”.