Some civil society groups in Lagos State have condemned the planned demolition of shanties and slums located near water fronts in the state.
The groups include Spaces for Change, Centre for Children’s Health Education Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) and Community Life Project (CLP). They protested the planned demolitions on Monday to the governor’s office.
The Executive Director of Spaces 4 Change, Victoria Ohaeri, in a speech to the press decried the forceful nature and manner the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is going about the planned eviction of poor Nigerians from their homes where many of them have lived for more than thirty years.
Mrs. Ohaeri said the actions of the Lagos State Government negate best practices and smack of impunity by the government without making adequate provisions for the people about to lose their homes in the thick of the rainy season. She said this is bound to bring untold suffering and hardship to them.
She said not all slum dwellers are criminals and as such the government should look inwards to tackle the menace of criminality with intelligence gathering and not executive force and recklessness.
Also, CEE-HOPE ‘s Chief Executive Officer ,Betty Abba, said Lagos State government should upgrade the slums for the residents rather than demolish them.
Mrs. Abba urged the government to have a re-think and find ways to ease the sufferings of the people who are about to be thrown out from their homes.
In the course of the protest, some community leaders who have suffered similar fate in the hands of the Lagos State government bared their thoughts towards the actions of the government which they termed tricky and diversionary. They said government used such means to acquire their lands by terming them criminals and transferring their lands to real estate developers who built edifices and high rise buildings for the rich and powerful.
Badia, a slum settlement, was mentioned as a case study.
A community leader from Pura decried the lack of forthrightness by the government, saying the settlement near the Bar Beach was snatched by the past administration in the state and is set to become part of the Eco Atlantic City being built for the rich.