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Thousands forcibly displaced as Police demolish Badia-East in Lagos to make way for the rich

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Thousands of people in the poor community of Badia East in Ajeromi, Apapa Local Government Area of Lagos State were left homeless on December 12, 2018 after police stormed the area demolishing over a thousand homes, according to rights group Spaces For Change and residents.

Members of the community said armed police fired bullets and tear gas indiscriminately, forcing them to flee with many sustaining various degrees of injuries.  

” Armed-to-the-teeth, security operatives, numbering over 50, invaded the community in the afternoon of Wednesday, December 12, using brutal force and lethal weapons to intimidate helpless citizens out of their homes, said Spaces For Change in a statement.

” The demolition crew continued the attack, aided by heavy bulldozers, Black Maria vans and caterpillars that broke into, ransacked and finally demolished the entire community, leaving behind only rubbles and ruins.  With no fewer than 1,000 homes destroyed, women, children and hundreds of families rendered homeless and vulnerable, livelihoods wrecked and bodily injuries recorded of helpless victims, the government has unleashed more pains, poverty and sorrows in the wake of its brutal attack on Badia-East.

” For a long time now, Badia-East has been thrust into contentious land disputes between the government and rich private land owners. Ironically, two days ago, Monday, December 10, 2018, Badia-East’ writ of summons which has been ongoing and their motion for the enforcement of their fundamental rights came up at the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere but the defendants, including the Lagos State Government and Commissioner of Police Lagos State were conspicuously absent, only for security operatives to show up in the community yesterday to conduct unfair demolition exercises! What crime have poor communities in Lagos State committed to deserve constant harassment and antagonism from the very government that ought to protect them?

Spaces for Change is calling on all Nigerians to join in condemning the demolition and forced evictions that took place in Badia yesterday.  ” We further demand that persons rendered homeless, especially women, children and other vulnerable populations, be given immediate humanitarian assistance, including adequate temporary shelter while long-term solutions are in process.”

The forceful eviction followed the destruction of the homes of thousands of people in the community in September 2015, and June 2017, according to residents.

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