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Anguishes, deprivations as Lagos Govt. house demolition squad moves from Lekki to Ebutte Meta

``Hundreds of people, mostly women and children, helpless, stranded, and exposed to weather elements are being implemented using teargas, teasers, and other items of coercion at the disposal of the state’’

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Cries of anguish and deprivation followed the demolition of Ifesowapo, Ifedapo, Otto/Ilogbo, and Ifeoluwa communities in Ebute Meta by the Lagos State Government.

The traumatizing and heartbreaking demolition, which began at 9:30 a.m. on March 22, 2024, only gave residents just 30 minutes to evacuate their belongings and vacate their lifelong homes.

Spaces for Change (S4C) said in a statement by Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, the Executive Director, that it condemned, in the strongest terms, the demolition executed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA) under the coercive enablement and supervision of the Nigerian Police.

The statement emailed to Persecondnews is titled, “Demolition of Homes and Memories in Ebute Metta Communities of Lagos State.’’

The state is using teargas, teasers, and other forms of coercion to carry out the demolition, which has so far left hundreds of people, mostly women and children, helpless, stranded, and exposed to weather elements.

“This vendetta against the communities suggests that it is now a “crime” to be poor and vulnerable in Lagos State.

 

“While the persons effecting the demolitions refuse to provide any information on the reason for demolition, information from sources close to the Lagos State Government suggests that the demolition is in compliance with the State Government directive to demolish and remove any “shanties” and “inhabitable places” within Lagos to make way for “decent houses” and development.

“It is important to note that some of these residents being displaced have lived and built memories in the communities for over 30 years with their families.

“Now their life memories and experiences have been’murdered’ by the vilest means without alternative shelter.

“This violates their fundamental human rights of ownership of private property and human dignity as protected by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

“This demolition is an unfortunate demonstration of the deep insensitivity of the government to the current harsh economic realities in the country and the difficulties low-income earners are going through to support themselves and their families,’’ S4C Executive Director, Ibezim-Ohaeri, said.

She called on the state government to immediately halt the demolition in communities not yet affected by this unholy exercise, pending the resettlement of the residents.

“We, therefore, call on the government of Lagos State to take immediate steps to halt the demolition in communities not yet affected by this unholy exercise, pending the resettlement of the residents.

“Provide temporary shelter to the hundreds of persons already displaced by the demolition while the government works out modalities to pay them compensation or resettle them, and also provide adequate succour in the form of medical and humanitarian assistance to the victims to cushion their respective losses. ‘’

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