In a bid to inculcate cultural values of the original inhabitants of the FCT in children and youths, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has launched a school competition for schools In the six area councils of Abuja.
In recent times, the CTA with support from MacArthur Foundation through Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), has led an advocacy campaign on the plight of the original inhabitants of the FCT.
Executive Director of CTA, Ms Faith Nwadishi, while speaking during the launch of “Schools Competition on FCT OI Culture” held in Abuja said there was need to halt the gradual extinction of the culture of the original inhabitants of Abuja.
Nwadishi explained that 13 schools have been selected in the six area councils of the FCT to promote the culture of the original inhabitants of the FCT through Arts and Poetry.
She said that while carrying out a baseline study, the group found out that most students did not understand the culture of the indigenous tribes of the FCT.
“We found out that the culture of the original inhabitants of the FCT is not very well understood by the younger population, especially children of school age.
“We all know that the culture of a people is the bedrock of the people. If you don’t know the culture of the people you are living with, there is that likelihood of going on in life without principles and proper orientation.
“As part of the project, we decided to get the young ones, indigenes and non indigenes alike to talk about the culture of the FCT.”
Nwadishi further said the participating schools were drawn from six area councils of the FCT.
“We have gone ahead to select choice schools; two each from the six area councils and the competition will involve students of senior secondary school one and two
“We streamlined it to poetry and arts.”
She said that the group’s expectation was to get a buy-in from the people at the community level so that the campaign would become their own.
While giving an overview of the project, the centre’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Mrs Stephanie Omere, said the project was launched on Dec. 14.
“CTA is implementing the project through well-thought-out activities that would enable existing Original Inhabitants efforts to revamp dying cultural values, treasures, and repositories.
Secretary, Garki Traditional Council, Mr Lazarus Nyaholo, said that some of the cultural values of the indigenes were being eroded.
“Festivals we used to have to showcase our culture are no longer held because we cannot access some of those cultural heritages.
“The security situation has also prevented us from carrying out our cultural festivals, which include holding processions and going to some locations to celebrate our cultural heritage.
“Most of the communities have lived over 500 years. We are indigenes of FCT; some values have been eroded.
“Now there is a gap for our children not to see those cultural aspects of our lives as indigenes,” he said.
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