The executive director of the civil society organization, Ms. Faith Nwadishi, made the call during an organized town hall meeting.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the meeting was about the “Community Development Agreement (CDA) and validation of the FCT’s scoping study report on the impact of mining on Original Inhabitants (OI).
It also reports that the study was conducted with the support of the Macarthur Foundation through the Resource Center for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED).
In his remarks, Nwadishi charged that the damaging effects of mining, especially quarrying, have left communities devastated, livelihoods destroyed, cultural sites desecrated and people despondent.
“That is why we are calling on the federal government to implement measures to address the devastating effect of mining on the livelihoods of the original inhabitants of the FCT.”
“Today we are here to achieve another milestone in the history of this project to promote the rights of the original inhabitants of the FCT.
“This project was launched on January 14. It has been a long road, especially in claiming the rights of the Original Inhabitants of the FCT and making certain requests”.
The executive director said the scoping study would help communities, mining companies and the government better understand the challenges associated with mining and how communities would benefit from the natural resources on their soil.
“According to the comments of the respondents, it was shown that some of the important sites of the inhabitants have been destroyed by infrastructure development activities, such as in the Kubwa district, where their graves have been converted into an ultra-modern market now called Maitama market.
He called on the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to do more to help communities in the FCT negotiate agreements with mining operators.
Also speaking, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, said that the community development agreement in the sector was to ensure that the mining communities were transported by the operators.
Adegbite was represented by Okono, Director of the Department of Environmental Compliance and Mines.
For his part, Esu Bwari, Dr. Ibrahim Yaro said that in addition to illegal mining, quarrying activities were also a danger to people in the community.
The Esu who was represented as the leader, John Awoyi, also said that many residents in the area were displaced.
Yaro, however, called on the CTA to add its scope of intervention in the quarry activities that have affected the communities.
Also speaking, CHRICED’s Executive Director, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, reiterated the commitment to support partners and communities in achieving their goals of improving the livelihoods of the FCT’s indigenous people.
Zikirullahi was represented by CHRICED’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Jaafar Abubakar.
He said that the organization would ensure that the government addresses the mining-related issues facing the people of the FCT.
Source Credit: NAN
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