The Coalition of Federal Capital Territory Indigenous Associations has warned the Nigerian government not to push them into violence over the alleged forceful takeover of their lands by the Nigerian Army.
The group said it would no longer fold its hands and allow the military, who were statutorily mandated to protect them, to force them out of their fatherland.
The leader of the group, Dalhatu Ezekiel, disclosed this on Monday at the premises of FCT High Court while addressing journalists on the suit file by the group challenging the forceful takeover of their lands in Iddo -Tungan Maje axis by the Nigerian Army.
He said, “Even though we have repeatedly said we will not take up arms but it seems the Nigerian government is doing what they know best by pushing citizens to carry arms; by pushing citizens to go to war and by pushing them to create anarchy and crisis.
“We have seen that the Nigerian government is teaching us unconsciously how to go violent with our issues. It is unfortunate that we are leaving in a lawless society called Nigeria. It is unfortunate that we have people who feel more important and more human than others.
“It is unfortunate that we have a President who is setting a bad precedent when it comes to the obedience of rule of law. It is unfortunate that we have a Nigerian military that is supposed to protect us but forcefully terrorising us in our communities.”
He asked why the military had refused to vacate their land after several directives by the government authorities.
Ezekiel lamented the alleged demolition of their houses, the killing of their people, and other atrocities committed by the military with a view to taking their lands.
He expressed confidence in the court as the last hope of the common man, saying that until justice is served in the matter they would never give up the fight.
Ezekiel said, “They have asked the Nigerian military to stay off our land but they refused. The Minister of FCT has continuously said that he has not allocated this land to the Nigerian military.
“We have approached the President through the office of Vice President and he has sat with all of us and the Nigerian military could not produce any documents that they own this land.
“They continuously demolish our houses, kill our people and destroy our farm produce; we believe the court is the last hope of the common man. We believe the court will give us justice. So we have confidence in the court. But let it be known that should anything happen, should there be any public disturbance, it is not the fault of FCT natives. We will remain peaceful for now until the otherwise.”
The coalition also accused the President of flagrant disobedience of court order that directed him to nominate FCT natives as the FCT minister three years after the ruling.
He said the President had refused to appeal the judgment and also refused to act in line with the order of the court.
The matter, which was scheduled for hearing on Monday, could not hold as the trial judge was said to be bereaved.
The case was adjourned to May 4, 2021.
SaharaReporters, New York