2023: Middle Belt/Southern FCT residents demand Abuja Senatorial seat

As the 2023 general election draws nearer, several interest groups have been mounting pressure and making demands for inclusion and proper representation in the scheme of affairs in the Federal Capital Territory to reflect the multi-ethnic composition of the territory and in the interest of equity and fairness.

Newly formed Middle Belt/Southern Peoples Concourse newly has become one of the political pressure groups drawing serious attention to the unbalanced distribution of political appointments and amenities among the ethnic groups in Abuja.

In what was regarded as the most vocal call on FCT political leaders to ensure equitable representation in the territory in the 2023 general elections, the group said that the forum will not accept anything less than being allowed to produce the next Senator in the territory.

Addressing the press at the NUJ Press Center on Thursday, the group said it amounts to injustice and insensitivity for parties to harness 75% of votes from Middle Belt/Southern FCT residents to win positions such as the Senate and House of Representatives and are council seats without considering the people of the zone for any political appointment.

Chairman of the group, Comrade Olisa Uzoewulu (Wulus), who was flanked by his executive members during the briefing, said no political office holder or appointee can occupy any office in the territory without the votes and backing of non-indigenes.

“The Middle Belt/Southern FCT residents also pay more tax in the territory from our businesses and we contribute more to the development of Abuja than any other section of the country. Taxation without proper representation in the affairs of government is sheer slavery and this must stop because for the 2023 general election, every candidate that wants our support must sign a social contract with us,” Wulus said.

He stated that the votes of the indigenes alone will not be enough to attract victory to political parties but regretted that after every election, the contributions of non-indigenes in producing victory for the government in office are usually forgotten and they are sidelined in appointments and the distribution of other dividends of democracy.

Corroborating the remarks of the chairman, the group’s General Secretary, Dr. Manzo Abubakar Mai-wa’azi said more than 72% of revenue generated by the FCT comes from business run by Middle Belt/Southern FCT residents and he also echoed the group’s demand for the senatorial seat in the 2023 general election.

Manzo said: “We do not want leaders who will take us for granted after using our votes to get into office. We want leaders who will be accessible, understanding and open to suggestions. People who take us for a ride when it comes to delivering the dividends of democracy are simply telling us that we do not matter but we will use our votes well this to elect people of good character in next year’s election,” he said.

Other contributions from members of the group at the briefing also echoed the frustration of non-indigenous residents over their exclusion from political appointments and reflect the wide divisions and the dichotomy within the membership of political parties in the territory as the indigenous communities rally support for their candidates.

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