FCT indigenes seek platform for preservation, promotion of cultural heritage

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By Philip Yatai

The indigenous inhabitants of Abuja have called on policy makers to provide them with a platform for the preservation and promotion of their cultural heritage.

They made the call during a public presentation of a book entitled, “Odyssey of A Rootsman: The Biography of Yunana Dawudu”, in Abuja.

They argued that the platform would create opportunities for the Abuja indigenes to discuss their history, and cultural heritage, including threats and other burning issues that affect them.

This, according to them, would serve as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue, self-examination, and positive action in their collective journey toward progress and prosperity.

They added that the fora, devoid of any political and religious colouration, would focus on how to promote their values of hard work, patience, forthrightness, and integrity.

One of them, Mr Richard Daudu, said that in spite of the level of progress in the nation’s capital, the indigenous people were still faced with political and economic deprivations among other challenges.

Daudu emphasised the need for the indigenous people to be encouraged to tell their stories to prevent distortion of their history and legacies.

He described the book launch as one of the ways the people could tell their stories.

He said that the book transcends beyond a biography of the life and times of Yunana Dawudu to a testament of the enduring spirit of humanity and the power of perseverance.

“The biography paints a vivid picture of the environment and culture in which Dawudu and his contemporaries thrived, despite the challenges they faced.

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“Our gathering today is not merely the presentation of a book; it is a celebration of heritage, a call to action, and testament to the importance of storytelling.

“As we navigate through the pages of Yunana Dawudu’s life, let us not only celebrate his legacy, but also reflect on our own journeys,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the event would elicit the interest of the older generation to tell their stories – the environment they lived in and the limited opportunities they had.

He added that it would also incite the younger ones to recognise the current opportunities in terms of education, business and other areas of life and harness them.

Mr Zaphaniah Jisalo, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, while presenting the book, re-echoed the need for the indigenous people to preserve and showcase their cultural heritage.

Jisalo, however, expressed optimism that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration would give the people the needed “air to breathe”, as evident with his appointment as a member of Tinubu’s cabinet.

He urged his people to leverage on the constitutional amendment by the National Assembly to push for more legislative seats, which he described as crucial to their quest for improved inclusion in governance.

On his part, Sen. Philip Aduda, who represented the FCT in the ninth Senate, described the biography as an eye opener and a reference book for the younger generation to learn from the experience and exploits of the old.

Similarly, Mr Abdullahi Candido, the immediate past Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, described Dawudu as one of the connecting rods between the old and the new generations of FCT inhabitants.

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Candido said that Dawudu agitated, promoted, and encouraged his people to be receptive to the different kinds of people flowing into Abuja, the new Nigeria and home to all.

He added that the celebrator was also among those who piloted the affairs of the FCT Administration, and among the champions of the political trajectory of the indigenous inhabitants of FCT.

The celebrator, Mr Dawudu, an octogenarian, described his biography, co-authored by Chukwuemeka Chukwudi and Mrs Msurshima Chenge as a masterpiece that would be of interest to students of social sciences and historians.

He said that the 168 pages biography chronicled his life, what it means to be born in a rural community, his experience of the development of Abuja into a capital city and the consequences on his people.

He urged young people to read and learn from his experience. (NAN)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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3 months ago

Great initiative!

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