By Akin Akande, Abuja
Original inhabitants of Garki in the Federal Capital Territory have demanded the full implementation of the report of the Ministerial Committee on Apo Resettlement Scheme headed by the Solicitor General of the FCT, Mrs. Helen Oloja.
The Ministerial Committee, which was inaugurated by the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, in August 2012, submitted its report on December 13, 2012.
The Garki indigenes, who spoke through the President of Garki Youth Association (GYA), Comrade Joel Yazegbe, urged the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, to ensure that the full report is published and implemented immediately.
Yazegbe further stated that the indigenes were also demanding that the Department of Resettlement and Compensation should be restructured if the Administration was to achieve any meaningful resolution of the resettlement crisis.
“We don’t want the report to go the way of other reports of past administrations which were not implemented. We commend the Federal Capital Territory Administration for setting up the Ministerial Committee on Apo Resettlement Scheme. This is the best attempt made by the FCT Administration to once and for all resolve the problem which has lingered for four years.
“The members of the Committee met with all stakeholders including the elders, traditional rulers, youths and others. They also visited the area to see things for themselves. We told them our demands and we are hoping that they will keep to the trust they showed during the stakeholders’ meetings,” Yazegbe said.
The youth leader, who noted that the indigenes would hold a news conference on the issue soon, warned that they would not accept partial implementation of the report.
“We want to be resettled and integrated by the Administration within the Apo Resettlement and Garki Village. We are demanding that we are allowed to be part of the implementation process.
The Administration should not allow the Department of Resettlement and Compensation to drive the implementation process because they are responsible for the current crisis in resettlement.
“The Department of Resettlement and Compensation cannot be trusted with the implementation of any resettlement scheme as it has failed woefully in the last four years. We want the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, to restructure the department and bring in trustworthy people and understand the objective of the department,” he said.
Yazegbe also called for upward review of the movement and inconvenience allowances to be paid to each household being resettled.
“The current payment of allowance of N35, 000 as contained in the allocation letter is grossly inadequate. We told the ministerial committee that the allowances should be improved upon. It is meager,” he explained.