Thousands displaced after Lagos police raze slum
One man was shot in the neck and later died, residents and Justice and Empowerment Initiatives (JEI), a Lagos-based group working with the community, told Al Jazeera.
“[Police] came very, very early in the morning [of Sunday],” Tina Edukpo, a 21-year-old Otodo Gbame resident, told Al Jazeera by phone.
“When I saw them, I was surprised,” she said.
It said it believes “militants” were using the community as a base, an accusation residents and rights groups deny.
It also said the settlement was “illegal, without any title or appropriate government approval”.
Maki said on Sunday that police shot tear gas and bullets, forcing thousands of residents onto boats.
— JEI | #OtodoGbame (@justempower) April 9, 2017
According to residents and JEI, a 20-year-old student was shot in the neck. Video from Sunday shows a bleeding man being rushed in a canoe for help. Maki, from JEI, said the man died in the boat before getting to the hospital.
Authorities were not available for comment on the death.
In January, a Lagos court issued an injunction halting demolitions in such communities after an estimated 30,000 Otodo Gbame residents were evicted in November 2016 to make way for development projects, rights groups said.
Following last month’s demolition, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode issued a statement defending the move, saying it was not in violation of the January injunction.
Ambode said the evictions were carried out “to ensure that the waterfront area is free from environmentally injurious and unsanitary habitation a few months after it was consumed by fired and rendered uninhabitable”.
‘We have to rebuild’
Last year, rights groups warned that more than 300,000 people faced eviction from waterfront communities across Lagos state.
Morayo Adebayo, a senior researcher at Amnesty International, accused the government of land grabbing.
“This is a land grab situation. That is what is happening,” Morayo told Al Jazeera by phone on Sunday.
Residents, including Kunnu and Edukpo, vowed to rebuild.
“I want to rebuild my home because I don’t have any other place to go,” Edukpo said. “This is the third time they have demolished my home.”
“[These are] our homes where our fathers and grandfathers have lived,” he said. “We have to rebuild.”
Source: Al Jazeera News