Obi condemns demolitions in states, FCT

THE Labour Party presidential candidate in the March 2023 election, Peter Obi, has condemned the ongoing demolition of houses, markets, and other facilities in some parts of Nigeria. 

Obi appealed to the federal and state governments to put a human face to governance, citing the economic hardship faced by most citizens.

The former Anambra state governor stated this in a statement released via his X handle on Thursday, November 30.

The ICIR reports that some state governments, particularly Lagos and Kano have pulled down several buildings since the general elections ended.

There has also been minor demolitions in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Kogi state.

In Lagos, the state government and the Federal Housing Authority in the past few weeks have pulled down structures in Lekki, Ikota, Alaba, Abule Ado, Ajao Estate, Ladipo Market, and other areas of the state.

The demolished buildings were said to have violated the city’s master plan by sitting on drainage channels.

Similarly, in Kano, The ICIR reported how the state government demolished several buildings a few days after the inauguration of the new administration, headed by Abba Kabir Yusuf.

Governor Yusuf said the properties, and scores of others marked to be pulled down, were built  on government’s lands sold off to private individuals by his predecessor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

He also said the exercise fulfilled his campaign promises, adding that residents were satisfied with the demolition.

Consequently, the action have rendered many families homeless amid the current economic hardship in the country.

Reacting to this, Obi said the exercise added extra hardship to Nigerians already grappling with multi-dimensional poverty.

“It’s with complete despondency and unhappiness that I have followed the ongoing demolitions of properties across the country, especially knowing the extra hardship such acts have been heaping on hapless citizens who are already battling with multi-dimensional poverty.

    “What a responsive government should be doing under the current harsh economic conditions in the country is to come up with measures aimed at alleviating the people’s hardships and to carry out measures that will take more people out of poverty,” he said.

    According to him, the prevailing economic challenges in the country should prompt the state government to adopt a more diplomatic approach in handling the situation.

    “Even if there are some violations as the governments are claiming, this critical time is not auspicious for such an exercise, knowing the hardship in the land and the consequences it will have on the poor who are struggling to make ends meet with their little resources.

    “The poor in our midst who are putting their meager resources are going through very severe financial stress that should not be multiplied further. In some cases, the properties being demolished are the lifetime savings and retirement abodes of the aged and incapacitated,” he added.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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