From Samuel Bello, Abuja

Nigerians now seem to be taking their destiny in their hands. Many are now adopting  diverse  methods to demand for accountability from government officials. 

Last week , the Gbagyi people took to the streets of Abuja protesting naked over the appointment of a permanent secretary, insisting that they should have been given the slot. They claimed that the Gbagyi people should not be denied a representative from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

More than 100 protesters took over major roads of Abuja, forcing motorists and other residents of the capital city to momentarily suspend their economic activities. Some of the men and women  were either half nude or outrightly naked .

Majority of the  women protesters bared their breasts. Of course, that drew attention to  them. Even security operatives who had the responsibility of monitoring the protesters could not help staring at the women. 

“We are human beings like you,” one of the policemen told Daily Sun.

Recently, the Gbagyi people arrived the main gate of the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in their traditional attire protesting alleged marginalisation of the ethnic group by the federal government.

On the platform of FCT Natives Marginalised Youths, the natives demanded for an FCT House of Assembly instead of the current arrangement where the National Assembly is making laws for the FCT.

They called for the creation of two additional Senatorial districts and four federal constituencies and a review of the FCT Act to make it more inclusive and community-friendly. 

The protesters were also seeking the immediate appointment of onwe or more FCT native as minister to sit at the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

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To gain attention and drive home their demands , the Gbagyis (Gwari), equally picketted the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation on Thursday, as both men and women protested naked, demanding the slot of Permanent Secretary.

The protesters mainly blocked the entrance gate to the Office of the Head of Service. They accused the Federal Government of continuously marginalising them after taking all their ancestral heritage.

The protesters, who made efforts to enter the building, were stopped by the heavy presence of security operatives who barricaded the place with armoured personnel carriers.

Marching in their hundreds and displaying placards with different inscriptions they accused  government of neglect and unfairness. They screamed   “enough is enough”, “we demand representation” to protest the injustice allegedly handed out to them by the federal government as they claimed to be treated as second class citizens in their own land.

Mr. Yinusa Ahmadu, who led the protest, said that the intent of the agitation was for government to look into the shortlisted candidates for the Permanent Secretary appointment as there is need for them to be represented at the federal level. 

Also, the assistant co-ordinator of the group, Ezekial Musa, stressed that the government has not deemed it fit to consider their demands, coupled with the fact that they have been agitating for recognition for 42 years.

 Chief of Garki Ward,  HRH Usman Nga-kupi, who said he came to the protest to ensure that his people carried themselves in a peaceful manner to express their grievances, appealed to the head of service to look into the appointment of Permanent Secretary and ensure that the Gbagyi people are not denied a representative from the FCT. 

Responding to the agitation on behalf of the Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, Director of Special Duties, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Adeshola Olusade, appealed to the protesters to stay calm.

Olusade dsaid that their grievances would be communicated to government for proper action.

He said: “I can assure you that your message will be delivered to the right place and your grievances will be looked into by the authorities.”