The Senator-elect of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ireti Kingibe, has promised to give the indigenous people of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) an adequate representation in the 10th Senate.
Speaking after receiving her certificate of return at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday, Ms Kingibe also promised to work with the FCT Minister as the representative of the people.
She said policies need to be put in place for the FCT to have more benefits like other states in the country.
“FCT is supposed to be treated like a state. It’s not a state but if certain policies are put in place, we can access all the things that other states do. Now, those policies have to be written and passed. Those are some of the things we are expected to do differently,” he said.
She listed security, shortage of housing and lack of adequate water supply as other issues to be addressed in the FCT.
When asked about the indigenes who might worry for not getting adequate representation as she is not an indigene of the FCT, Ms Kingibe said a candidates’ tribe or religion doesn’t matter but their ability to perform in the task they are voted for.
“Almost every Chairman in the FCT is an indigene. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you represent yourself but who works for you,” she said.
“The Senator of the FCT is an indigene. He’s been there for 20 years. If they’re not adequately represented, it’s because of the calibre of people they take there, not the tribe that matters. A time must come in this country where your tribe does not matter. It’s your character. What can you do? Your capacity.”
She said while she is not an indigenes of the FCT, she has lived in the capital city long enough to know the problems of the people and how to address them.
The 68 years old senator-elect, who claimed to have lived in the FCT since 1988, vowed that the people will see a difference.
“They’ll see a difference and know that it’s not the tribe of who represents you that matters but what the person is bringing to the table, what the person is willing to do that’s what matters most. And when Nigerians move away from tribe and religion to capacity. Then we would have arrived to be the nation that we should be.”
Mrs Kingibe is married to a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe.
Philip Aduda whom Ms Kingibe replaces in the Senate is an Indigene of the FCT. He has been representing the FCT at the National Assembly since 2003, first in the House of Representatives (from 2003 to 2011) and the Senate from 2011 to 2023.
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Before Mr Aduda moved to the Senate, the FCT had been represented in the upper chamber by two non-indigenes – Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe from Kwara State, and Isa Maina from Borno State.
Mrs Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe is a sister to the current Kwara State governor but married to Lawan Gwadabe, an indigene of Jigawa State.
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