26 February 2013

Nigeria: Evicted Lagos Community Residents Stage Protest

Lagos — Following the demolition of their homes at the weekend, residents of Iganmun Alawo community in Apapa Iganmun Local Council Development Area (LCDA) yesterday staged a protest, demanding palliatives. The protesting evictees complained that since last Saturday morning when their buildings were demolished, they have neither eaten nor taken their bath.

The head of the community, Chief Lucas Owoseni, who spoke to our correspondent, said the evictees were tenants on the land, and wondered why their buildings were demolished within 48 hours after they were served quit notice by the state government.

According to him, the land belongs to Ojora family, and they have been living on the land for decades.

"Our place is one of the host communities for slum upgrade activities under the $200 million World Bank funded Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP). As in other host communities, the state government has failed to abide by the specific terms of the World Bank policies that mandate it to minimize involuntary resettlement and, when displacement is absolutely unavoidable, ensure prior consultation, adequate notice, compensation, and resettlement," he said.

But Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mr. Olatunji Odunlami, said that the land from which the people were evicted would be used to build 1,008 housing units. He said the area has been demolished twice, adding, "It is an acquired land and now the state government has decided to build housing units on it. The evictees know that they are not supposed to be on the land. People need to obey laws and regulations."

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