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FCT original inhabitants get N800m project grants

The Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) with support from MacArthur Foundation, has approved N800m grants for nine original inhabitants organizations. This is…

The Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) with support from MacArthur Foundation, has approved N800m grants for nine original inhabitants organizations.

This is part of efforts to promote the rights of original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The grant was for the implementation of various projects targeted at addressing political, economic and cultural marginalization of the indigenous people of the FCT.

At the signing ceremony held on Tuesday in Abuja, the Executive Director of CHRICED, Dr Ibrahim Zikirullahi, said that he was convinced that the grants will mark the dawn of a new era for the Original Inhabitants of the FCT and their decades-long struggle for justice, equity and fairness, with the context of political, economic and cultural evolution of Nigeria.

“It is similarly pertinent to recall that when CHRICED got the support from MacArthur Foundation under the Equitable Recovery grant to work for ethnic justice as it concerns the marginalized and neglected Original Inhabitants of the FCT, the mandate was clear about the need to develop their organizational capacities for self-led campaigns and advocacies.

“This approach was chosen because of the considered position that the role of CHRICED is not to take over the historic struggles of the Original Inhabitants. Instead, CHRICED role is to support and energize the struggle of the Original Inhabitants to enable them organize effectively for the purpose of advocating for the promotion and protection of their political, economic and cultural rights.

“With the assessment phase done, it is now time for these Original Inhabitants Organizations, which have gone through the process to begin to learn by doing. This is the essence of the grants, which will be signed today.

“I am therefore pleased to inform that a total sum of N800m has been granted to the nine organizations and their technical partners, which have been assessed and approved for this project a scoping study of organizations led by FCT inhabitants and those working directly on their respective issues.

“CHRICED is confident that the process we have begun would effectively and sustainable position the Original Inhabitants in the FCT to address the root causes of the decades-long marginalization, discrimination and other pervasive forms of human rights violations. As such, the various grants to be signed today represent a diversity of initiatives, which would collectively address the injustices meted against the Original Inhabitants, while supporting an equitable recovery from the devastation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Zikirullahi said.

Also speaking at the event, the Sarkin Karshi, Alhaji Ismaila Danladi Mohammed, expressed gratitude for the grants, urging other Nigerians to give them their rights so as not to end up taking up arms as witnessed in the Niger Delta.

“A lot of Nigerians don’t understand the plights of original inhabitants of the FCT due to non-sensitization. The original inhabitants of FCT are very accommodating and it is imperative that we get the respect, recognition and us our dues so that our children will not take up arms like it happened in the Niger-Delta,” he said.

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