Adekunle, Makoko, Yaba
|What is affected||
|Type of violation||
|Date||01 April 2010|
|Region||AFA [ Africa anglophone ]|
|Location||Adekunle, Makoko, Yaba areas, Lagos State|
- Land area (square meters)
|- Total value|
|- Number of homes|
|- Total value €|
Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)
Vanguard Online Edition Makoko: Tales of tears and blood over eviction
30 December 2010
By Emmanuel ELEBEKE
With memories of the forceful eviction of Maroko residents 20 years ago by the then Colonel Raji Rasaki military administration still fresh in the minds of many people, a similar episode was re-enacted last week with residents of Adekunle, Makoko, Yaba area on the receiving end. The onslaught which was executed by the police at the instance of the Lagos State Government Taskforce on the Environment left two dead and several persons with gun shot wounds and over 30 persons arrested and detained by the police. The Taskforce had invaded the community on Thursday morning to carry out a demolition exercise on a private land that is still a subject matter of a pending lawsuit before a Lagos High Court.
Within minutes of arriving the community, Vanguard Metro gathered that members of the Taskforce accompanied by heavily-armed police men began to shoot sporadically, beating, flogging and assaulting the astonished residents in an effort to forcibly evict them from their homes. In the course of the demolition, the police was said to have used excessive force that resulted in the death and injury of several persons.
According to the Executive Director of Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC), Mr Felix Morka, one 30-year-old man, Mr. Waheed Saka, was shot dead while trying to retrieve his belongings with his wife and three children watching. It was also gathered that the gun-toting police men left the injured persons in the pool of their blood without any form of medical assistance. Instead, they were hauled into a waiting black maria, and driven to Panti Police Station for detention. This same scenario, SERAC alleged, has regularly been visited on the Maroko community this year.
According to the body, in April this year, officials of the Kick against Indiscipline (KAI) Brigade assisted by heavily armed policemen invaded the same area and forcefully evicted the residents by destroying their homes, properties and livelihoods. At the end of the exercise, over 1,000 people, including women and children, as well as the elderly were said to have been rendered homeless.
SERAC said it was outraged by the actions of the Lagos State Government Taskforce and viewed the demolition action as contentious of the proceedings before the Lagos High Court, particularly on its participation in such a matter that is purely private infraction between two private persons, as evidenced by its role in facilitating the access of one of the families to the disputed land. “While we express our disappointment by the Lagos State Government, it is important to state that land dispute between private persons is within the ambit of the court to resolve,” said Morka, adding that the recent move by the state government to forcibly evict poor residents and demolish their homes is tantamount to an usurpation of, and including a brazen disregard for the judicial organs of government.
Morka’s position is that, should the movement of the people become necessary in government’s development plan, the government has it as a duty to provide the people with an alternative housing.
“While we welcome efforts to improve housing and urban infrastructure within the state, pushing the people from inadequate housing into homelessness is not the solution to the acute housing shortage currently witnessed in the state,” he posited, While declaring SERAC’s support for the rights of the inhabitants of Okobiriki in Makoko to have a say in decisions that affect their lives, the SERAC Director called for genuine consultation with and participation by the affected residents in the design of housing development strategies and programmes, and to ensure that human rights are respected. He reminded the state government that the terms of agreement between it and the World Bank and the operating guidelines of the Lagos Metropolitan and Governance Project (LMDGP), worth over 200 US dollars prohibit the use of forced evictions in affected areas like Maroko. In the light of this, SERAC said it is appealing to the Lagos State government to immediately halt all forced evictions and demolitions of people’s homes, churches, schools and businesses without recourse to due process and the rule of law.