Community leader of Dagbalo village in Apo District, Rev. Danjuma Dara has warned the FCT authorities to stop further demolition of property of indigenes or be prepared to face the wrath of the villagers.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, Dara said the era when indigenes beg to have dialogue with the FCT authorities over resettlement and compensation is over as they are no longer going to watch and see their homeland demolished.
According to him, despite several letters to the FCT Administration requesting for dialogue over the matter, the administration has refused to grant them audience, saying, “We are no longer begging to see them, we demand that they must see us or they will not be comfortable with our next action and we want to also advise the government to stay from out father’s land and our ancestry homes because we do not have any where to go.”
“We have sacrificed enough for this nation and the minister is not seeing it that way but he will always pay us with sending development control to bring down our homes, enough is enough, the government has pushed us to the wall. That we are peace loving people does not mean that we do know our right,” the community leader said.
He accused officials of the administration of shortchanging beneficiaries of the community on the alternative resettlement area given to them, demanding full compensation for all demolitions carried out by the authorities, without proper resettlement of those affected.
Dara said that the recent decision of the government to proffer an alternative solution to compensate indigenes before embarking on further demolition of indigenous settlement in the territory is coming too late.
He recalled that few years ago some members of his community were forcefully ejected from their ancestral home without proper resettlement.
“I could remember that on the 30th of July 2013, FCDA officials with two pick up vans loaded with armed soldiers stormed our community and demolished our homes, destroyed our farms and economic trees within 5 days.
“The case was then reported to Apo Divisional Police Station and we also filed a case at Jabi High Court and we are hoping to see justice prevail because we do not have any other home and our children are growing so fast.
“Secondly, some two years ago, a 22-year-old lady was shot and killed by the FCDA police in Akpajenya village when a wealthy woman came with offer of allocation paper with armed soldiers to claim ownership of the land, forgetting the original inhabitants of the community.
“Since the vast land now known as FCT was taken over by the Federal Government in 1976, the indigenous people have literarily been under perennial terrorism by government officials and private land grabbers using military and police personnel to dispossess it,” he said.