Foundation calls for preservation of Abuja’s cultural heritage

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

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In furtherance of promoting the rights of Abuja’s original inhabitants (OI) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Nigeria a Non-Governmental Organisation, Helpline Foundation For the Needy has called on the government to take action towards revamping the cultural heritage of the OI through women and youth empowerment.

In particular, the NGO pleaded with the government to recognize the efforts of the fathers of the land of FCT and rescue their children from statelessness and give them a listening ear to provide a state for the original inhabitants of FCT.

Making this point, Helpline President, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, said the action when taken would not only revamp the FCT economic system but also create enhance international relations as the preserved monument would serve as a hospitality and tourism attraction as well as investors.

Ahmadu, in her speech delivered by Onoja Arome, Project Officer for the Foundation, during a Press Conference in Abuja, noted that the original inhabitants of FCT have been rendered stateless since the turning of their fathers land to the nation’s capital, and all rights and privileges have been usurped by urbanization without adequate compensation.

She added that the remaining evidence of their existence has also been seriously encroached upon endangering their existence as a people.

According to her, the Foundation with support from MacArthur Foundation through the resounding support from the Resource Center For Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED implemented empowerment programmes in the area.

“The Helpline Foundation has taken steps to advocate for the preservation of cultural sites i.e the Asumbo dyeing pits of Ushafa, the Iron Smelting Sites of Takushara, the Gold tunnels and the colonial lodges in Takushara. 

“As we speak, the Dyeing Pits in Ushafa is has been reclaimed and work is currently ongoing, which means our advocacy has reached physical intervention.

“By the first week of November 2022, we shall be visiting Takushara with our sponsor organization on a tour to further advocacy on the preservation of the relics available in Takushara.

“Today, over 81 beneficiaries have been trained on cultural skills and are ready to continue to preserve their culture in the place where their land is fast becoming a no man’s land. And on 19th May 2022, we successfully graduated the participants, who were placed on a six-month training on the traditional skill transfer.

“The project actually cut across all the tribes evidenced in the FCT they are: The Gbagyi, Amwamwa, koro, Gade, Gwandara, Gbari, Egbura, Bassa and Ganagana respectively. They have their separate colours and fabrics for unique cultural identification which were going on extinction before the timely intervention of the MacArthur Foundation and CHRICED,” she added.





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