11 January 2014

Nigeria: Badagry Residents Protest Over Demolition of Houses

Residents of five communities in Olorunda Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Badagry Lagos State, on Friday protested the demolition of numerous houses in their area, which left them displaced.

They took their protest to the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja, where they urged the lawmakers to come to their rescue.

Mr Charles Adu, the Spokesman of the residents, said that the state government should urgently come to their aid because of the hardship the demolition had brought on them.

He also said that though the state government had written them a notification letter on the impending demolition of houses at Agemuwo and Agalato communities, the exercise was extended beyond the areas.

Adu said that the residents were surprised at the extension of the demolition to Muwo Phase Two, Araromi-Ale, and Atiporomeh communities.

He said that they believed that an unknown personality, who had been using the police to intimidate the residents, had engineered the demolition.

Adu said that 250 policemen invaded the communities on Dec. 14, 2013 to effect the demolition of their houses.

The spokesman said that the displaced residents now lived in churches and mosques under terrible conditions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters also threatened to go on hunger strike at the Assembly premises, until their demands were met.

Addressing them, the Speaker, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who was represented by Mr Segun Olulade, Chairman House Committee on Information, Strategy, Publicity and Security, commended the protesters for their peaceful conduct.

"I thank you for having hope when it seems there is no hope.

"I want to assure you that the House will speedily investigate the matter to a logical conclusion by the grace of God.

"We are not a government that derives joy in inflicting pains on those we serve," the lawmaker said.

Ikuforiji said that since the residents had exonerated the Ministry of Physical Planning from the demolition, the Assembly would identify the faceless people behind the act.

"You might not need to go on any hunger strike before justice would come your way.

"So, I want to enjoin you to go back to your homes while you have two or three representatives that would stay behind for a meeting over the matter," he said. (NAN)

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