ABUJA: The Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja OIDA has dissociated itself from a self-styled “Indigenous People of FCT” led by the duo of Yunusa Yusuf and Isaac David and who are opposed to the ongoing protests against police brutality in the Federal Capital Territory FCT.
OIDA President, Pastor Danladi Jeji who disclosed this in a statement Tuesday in Abuja said the decision was taken following investigations and a virtual meeting of the organs of the Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) where it reviewed Monday’s pro-government protest by some FCT natives against the ongoing #EndSARS protests.
“The protesters were organised by one Yunusa Ahmadu Yusuf (self-styled Buhun Barkonu) and one Isaac David (self-styled Commandant) who are not members of OIDA or formally known to its organs and as such have no mandate from OIDA, as the umbrella body of natives, or the indigenous people of FCT for them to stage such a protest against the widely acclaimed and nationwide-endorsed protests against police brutality.
“Though these two organisers are FCT natives with rights to individual freedom of speech and movement but since they do not have the mandate of OIDA or any backing by majority of the indigenous people of FCT, we hereby strongly condemn their misrepresentation of the struggle of the FCT people. The media should treat the anti-#EndSARS protest as an isolated event and not colour it as having the endorsement of FCT natives”, OIDA stated.
The association declared that “these set of protesters are opportunists, mischievous and money-induced youths who in the guise of pursuing the interests of FCT natives are surreptitiously doing so for their personal agenda”.
“We have stated it times without number beginning from the time of Landswap policy under former FCT Minister Bala Mohammed where these same set of people were used to coerce our people to accept the policy against all rationality that their actions are against the overral interest of Abuja natives and as such we call them out as opportunists and not activists. We urge all FCT natives to distance themselves from them until they repent from their character.
“We are in support of all agitations for the good governance, justice and welfare of all Nigerians, including #EndSARS, as long as such protests are done in an atmosphere of civility, respect for the rights of others to join or not to join such agitations within the context of obedience to the rule of law. We abhor all forms of violent protests that result in the destruction of property and death of innocent Nigerians.
“We urge our community and traditional leaders including elected FCT representatives to call to order all those who are taking advantage of the genuine struggle of the FCT natives for the democratisation of governance in Abuja through the provision of a governorate, more Senate and House of Representatives seats, more local governments and respect for the rights and dignity of our people by the Federal Government.
“We urge all #EndSARS protesters to protest peacefully and make their points without violence while we warn thugs disrupting such peaceful protests to stay off our streets and stop harassment of FCT natives and residents before our people are tempted to react.
“The Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) while condemning police brutality in the strongest terms also identifies with the Nigerian Police hierarchy led by IGP Mohammed Adamu as he works to ensure that the necessary reforms are undertaken to weed out the few policemen giving the police a bad name”, OIDA stated.
Yunusa had in a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police IGP, Mohammed Adamu asked the #EndSARS protesters to vacate major roads in the territory, lamenting how the continued protests had led to the disruption of economic and social activities in the nation’s capital.