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NATIVES APPEAL TO MINISTER FOR LAND COMPENSATION

By NBF News
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Indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have appealed to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed to come to their aide by ensuring that they are duly compensated over a plot of land taken from them by an estate developer.

Spokesperson of the indigenes, Mr. Paul Kabusa who spoke to journalists at a protest rally organised to halt construction work on the purported land at Sabon Lugbe in Abuja, said that the plot of land which is about Seven hectares belonged to one Irmiya Baba, an elderly indigene.

He said Baba inherited the said land from his father and was using it for farming to care of his family until April 2011, when a developer came to claim the land from them without compensation.

According to Kabusa, the developer claimed the land was allocated to him by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) but that nobody met them for discussion on how to settle the original indigenes that were using the land to farm for more than100 years, adding that they had made attempts to meet with authorities of the FCT who always referred them back to the developer.

'The developer instead of settling us always invites policemen to harass us that the land belongs to the federal government.  That is why we are protesting till today, because the case is in court, but the developer is still working here building this estate which he called Gold City 2, while our compensation has not been paid.

'We are demanding for the compensation for this land, so that he can continue with his work, while we go our way to move on with life, but if he cannot compensate us, the work has to stop till he decides to compensate us.  We are asking him to pay only N50 million as compensation for the land but we know that the land is worth more than that,' he said.

Irmiya Baba, the alleged original owner of the land, who also spoke to LEADERHIP named the crops destroyed by the developers on the land to include palm trees, mango trees, guava and cashew trees, saying that since all the plantations were destroyed, he and his families had been languishing in penury.

'We are appealing to the federal government and the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed to come to our aid because we do not want the Niger Delta episode to happen in Abuja and we believe that everybody that is in Abuja has their home town and family houses.  But the way we are been treated in our hometown is something that must be taken into consideration. We should be settled properly so that we can also have a sense of belonging as people that have their home towns,' he said.

Attempts to speak to the estate developer at the time of filling this report proved abortive, as the GSM number available was not reachable.