The demolition of Otodo Gbame, a waterfront community in Lagos State which witnessed an outcry on social media over the weekend has been condemned by opposition party KOWA.
In a statement issued by the party’s PRO, Victor Terhemba, the action of Lagos State Government was condemned with the party saying each time the government evicted the poor from their area of residence they make up excuses of forestalling environmental hazards but in turn give the land to the rich and wealthy.
The party berated the action especially with the fact that no alternative settlement has been provided for evicted families.
“The state government claims its actions in Otodo-Gbame are justified for some reasons. Firstly it claims that the community poses an environmental hazard to the aquatic ecosystem. Secondly it claims that criminals and vagabonds masquerading as militants use the community as a cover for their nefarious activities,” the statement by the party read in part.
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Continuing, the party noted that; “These two reasons are very important and should not, in righteous indignation at the suffering of the people of the community, be dismissed without due consideration.
“The government also claims that these people are illegal occupiers of the land and therefore have no right to claim ownership of said portion of Lagos state.
“While we acknowledge that the precious and delicate ecosystem of our dear waterfront should be protected. Our water bodies are our pride in Lagos and they must be taken care of. However shooting at and killing Nigerians to protect the environment is definitely doing the wrong thing to achieve the right aim,” the party statement averred.
As early as 6 am last Saturday, men of the Lagos State Task Force and the police reportedly on the orders of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the state’s commissioner for environment, stormed Otodo Gbame setting houses ablaze as residents scampered for safety.
The invasion of the community left at least one person dead while majority of the residents who had no place to go were stranded on the water, with many sleeping out in the open with their families.
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