Written by Austine ELEMUE, Edrina EMMANUEL

Earth tremor: Our ancestors responsible – Abuja native Govt claims can’t be trusted- Residents

Despite assurances by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, over the recent earth tremors in some parts of the territory, some residents are still living in fear, just indigenous people of Abuja have attribute the phenomenon to the anger of their gods.

The Abuja natives weekend through the spokesperson of Abuja Original Inhabitants, Comrade Yunusa Yusuf, warned that the gods of the land will continue to fight for its people until justice is done to the indigenous people, warning that the struggle is not yet over until deliberate efforts by the federal government to appoint a native as minister as well as give key positions in the federal cabinet to them. 

"It is laughable how different government agencies and officials have come out to claim the recent earth disturbances in some part of Abuja is a natural occurrence because most people do not believe Abuja has indigenes and which in a short time will soon be regrettable. 

"We have maintained peace as a people with utmost belief in every central administration that our deliberate marginalization in the scheme of national affairs will be corrected but what we continue to get for this peace offer is neglect and abuse. 

"We have cried enough and we may have to divulge to other alternatives to agitate for our exclusion in the scheme of things by the federal government. 

"Some recent time past, the Abuja Original Inhabitants had threatened to invoke the spirit of their ancestor in the Federal Capital Territory to join us in this genuine struggle to liberate our people. 

"It is very regrettable that since our ethnic consensus to allow free government operation in the Federal Capital Territory, the government has not returned back the gesture but rather have sort different means to squash and alienate us in our ancestral land. 

"Today, we the Abuja Original Inhabitants wish to reiterate categorically that the struggle is not yet over and we will not relent until deliberate efforts by the FG is visibly recorded which includes the appointment of an FCT native as a minister. 

"We wish to remind you and every other resident not to jettison nor trivialise our belief in this struggle because in the nearest future, events will unfold that would give a better guide to our resolve. And if between now and October an FCT native is not appointed a minister, the Presidency (Aso villa) should expect an unprecedented earth disturbance", the statement threatened. 

 

The group however appreciates all non-natives that have shown the indigenous people enormous support in all realms during the struggle to bring about justice for all.

 

 

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Friday assured residents of the affected areas not to panic, noting that geological experts have counselled that Abuja was not on the line of any major seismic danger.

But some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent attributed the cause of the earth tremor to human activities, others see it as sign of imminent earthquake.

While some of the respondents who spoke to The Abuja Inquirer confirmed that the earth tremor resulted in excessive vibrations of residential houses, no visible damage was reported by them. 

A community leader in Mpape, Chief Nnamdi Okeugu, told our correspondent on Saturday that the tremor has occurred thrice within a period of one week, stressing that the tremor is similar to what he described as "chamber blasting". 

"I have stayed in Mpape for 35 years now, but we have not experienced such earth shaking. It only happened during the blasting of stones by construction firms. My bed was shaking even in this sitting room. It has happened three times in this week (last week). The first one was more terrifying. It was similar to a chamber blasting. The good news is that no property was affected. Government should suspends blasting of rocks, or reduce the intensity of blasting", Okeugu said. 

Another respondent, Mrs. Grace Bassey, affirmed that though there was massive vibration in the environment, no property was destroyed as alleged in some quarters. 

According to her, "I witnessed the earth shaking on Wednesday and Friday early morning, but I did not see any crack that occurred in houses. If anybody is telling you that it has destroyed houses, let that person take you there so that you can report it. You are a journalist, go and report it in your paper that no house was destroyed in Mpape as a result of the earth tremor". 

Speaking in the same vein, Malam Abdulmalik Busari said, "The allegation that the earth tremor cracked some houses is not true, but there was a serious shaking that was felt by people. I am leaving right inside Mpape and I did not see any house cracked. 

"One thing I believe is that the companies that are blasting the rocks in this area are responsible for the tremor, especially the quarry behind the Mopol Barracks, their site has a place where water is flowing out of the rock.

"Government should stop all blasting of rocks in this area, these stones you see, in my religion , the stones are like nuts with which God used in locking the earth, and humans are blasting the stones. When you temper with natural resources, the implication is waiting for you, if not now, but in the future". 

Speaking to our correspondent at Mpape, the board chairman of Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, Dr. Bawuro Yahaya, said, "I would like to emphasize that we are here on behalf of the FCT minister to assure the people that the government is on top of the situation. 

"Actually there are different things that could cause earth tremor, but we may not go deeply into them now, because some relevant agencies are already carrying out an investigation on it. 

"But suffice to say that from my knowledge of Mpape, there are some human activities that could cause what we have experienced here, especially, the excessive blasting of rock in this area. You know that some of these rocks serve as stabilizing natural elements to the environment, and there is a tendency that if you over blast them, the environment would be destabilized.”

 

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