Indigenous peoples in Nigeria are celebrating a number of milestones in their fight for rights and recognition.
Last month, the Nigerian government nominated an FCT indigene, Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo, as Minister-designate. This is the first time an indigenous person from the Federal Capital Territory has been nominated for a cabinet position.
The nomination of Jisalo is a significant step forward for indigenous peoples in the FCT, who have long been marginalized and excluded from decision-making processes. However, there are still many challenges that need to be addressed.
One of the biggest challenges facing indigenous peoples in the FCT is the issue of land. The government has taken over vast swathes of land that belonged to indigenous peoples, often without adequate compensation. This has left many indigenous peoples homeless and landless.
Another challenge is the lack of political representation for indigenous peoples in the FCT. Indigenous peoples are not allowed to vote for a governor or state assembly representatives, even though they make up a significant portion of the population. This lack of representation means that indigenous peoples have little say in how their affairs are run.
Despite these challenges, indigenous peoples in Nigeria are determined to continue fighting for their rights. They are calling on the government to respect their land rights, to give them political representation, and to uphold their human rights.
The nomination of Jisalo is a positive step forward, but it is just one step. Indigenous peoples in Nigeria will continue to fight until they achieve full equality and recognition.