Fornot considering relative alternative for the evictees of Otodo Gbame community, an expert in the built environment has chided the Lagos State Government for its inability to create suitable alternatives for those ejected.
Mr. Andrew Iwunna, an independent estate agent in Lagos stated that governments are fund of inflicting pains and injuries on the citizens meanwhile, they will be saying they care for the citizens.
In his assessment of the situation, Iwunna decried the deceit with which politicians lobby and canvass for votes during electioneering campaigns saying their attitudes once elected does not show any sign of concern for the people. “We are yet to get it right. Government is meant to care for the people but what we have these days is selfish leaders who care for their personal needs while the public they are to protect live in penury. It is bad,”he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Slum/Informal Settlement Federation is standing in solidarity with the over 30,000 people who were evicted in a state-led land grab from Otodo Gbame community in Lagos in November 9, 2017.
They are demanding the immediate resettlement of evictees from the land from which they were forcefully evicted, as well as full and adequate compensation of all affected by the forced eviction.
Besides clamouring justice for the families of slain persons during the eviction, the group demands an immediate moratorium on the demolition and continued engagement with the community to pilot and demonstrate workable or alternative to evictions.
Speaking at the Freedom Park on Lagos Island, Megan Chapman, co-founder, Justice Empowerment Initiatives of Nigeria, a community legal support initiative, said tens of thousands of evictees are homeless and living in desperate poverty while the land from which they were evicted is used for luxury real estate projects, such as the Periwinkle Lifestyle Estate.
Megan further stated that the forced eviction in Otodo Gbame which took place from November 2016 to April 2017 was a blatant disregard of an order restraining the government from evicting the community and that, despite widespread condemnation from the community, members of civil society organisations, concerned citizens and the international community, government in a show of impunity withdrew from court ordered mediation and proceeded to demolish the community, chasing all residents off the land in March-April 2017. The Sun