By Juliet Akoje, Abuja
Members of the Coalition of Indigenous Communities of Abuja (CICA) yesterday laid siege to the gates of National Assembly causing a major gridlock at the main entrance.
They also blocked the villa gate and gate to office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF).
They carried placards with inscriptions as: It Is Seven Days Now That FCT Native Was Killed; Nigerian Army Stop Killing FCT Natives; and Protect Residents And Their Property, Not The Opposite.
Leader of the group, Dalhatu Musa, said they would not give up until their demands were met.
The group had embarked on renewed protest last Thursday over alleged killing and maiming of some indigenes by some military personnel over Nigerian Army’s alleged forceful acquisition of their land in Giri, Kpakuru, Ido Saraki, Zuba and Tungan Maje.
Musa said the struggle to stop military brutality over their land started in 2016 and had continued without positive any outcome, adding that as law-abiding citizens they had petitioned Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello and set up a committee to look into the matter.
He said: “We were told that the military was not allocated the land they were laying claim to. So, we had expected that they would revert to status quo and stop harassing us.
“Unfortunately, one of our kinsmen was killed last week and several others injured when the military tried to forcefully eject them from the land they were farming on.
“When this matter started, we petitioned the FCT minister and we were told they were not allocated the land.
“The ministry reported he matter to the presidency and a Presidential committee was set up headed by Abba Kyari to look into the matter and they asked the army to stop whatever they were doing there.
“Still they went there with their bulldozer to dig trenches to stop the indigenes from accessing their villages and farms,” he said.
He added that they would not be deceived by promises that the National Assembly was attending to the matter, saying the Senate last week referred the matter to its Committee on Defence “as a ploy to frustrate the matter.”
Musa insisted that they would not relent until the Senate President, Bukola Saraki or Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, addressed them.
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