Indigenes Seek Inclusion In Abuja Land Swap Programme

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Some indigenes of Abuja
have appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to consider their interest in land swap programme in order not to deprive them of adequate land for their farming business.
A traditional ruler, Mr John Gata who is the Etsu of Piwoyi said his people  were ready to cooperate with the government in the programme provided  their interest were promised.
The land swap policy  was designed by the FCT  Administration to facilitate speedy development of the territory by allocating districts to interested  investors.
In turn, the investors  are expected to provide infrastructure  in those districts and retain 60 per cent of the district while the FCT retains 40 per cent.
While reacting in an interviewed with  newsmen in Abuja recently, Gata, said it would be improper if the land swap policy further dispersed the indigenes by resetling  them away from their ancestral land.
Stressing the need for government to take into consideration the fact  that  the indigenes were mainly farmers  and  to make provision  for farm land in the policy, the traditional ruler said, “we are not ready to kick against any government project, provided the government does the right thing.
“The land swap policy is giving our land  to estate firms that will provide infrastructure and share the land  with government. But  they should consider the preservation of the people’s culture and tradition in their efforts to  acquire land and resettle indigenes  in Abuja,” he said.
Also speaking,  the National Co-ordinator, Great Gbagyi Development Initiative (GG-DIN) Mr. Gbaiza Gimba,  said the indigenes only needed  50 per cent share of the land swap and total participation.
He said it was unfair to take land from indigenes and allocate to a few people in the name of land swap.
“The land swap  has no special benefit to the indigenes apart from the fact that they will be relocated. But it is unfair  for government to acquire land in the name of building a capital city only to allocate the same land to a few individuals in the name of land swap.
He said FCT indigenes were losing  their land without adequate compensation and urged for fairness in the process.