Forced evictions are on the rise in Lagos state as more and more lands become targeted for high-value property development projects not only by the legitimate property owners but increasingly by the so called criminal land grabbers.
The evictions appear to be happening without adequate notice, proper consultation, compensation or even any offer of alternative housing.
It beggars belief that in this day and age and with the current situation in Nigeria… that any organisation or part of a body will be involved in carrying out forced evictions without proper notice.
Some of these so called “forced evictions” have resulted in deaths, massive destruction of property, homelessness, loss of livelihoods, separation of families, and children deprived of access to education.
For some residents, “forced eviction” means they lose everything – their livelihoods, their possessions and is some cases their lives.
Even if these evictions were necessary, they could be carried out lawfully when done in accordance with international human rights laws and standards to which Nigeria is a signatory.
These ruthless forced evictions are just the most recent examples of a practice that has been going on in Nigeria especially Lagos state for over a decade in complete defiance of International law.
An eviction becomes a forced eviction when states fail to comply with these important standards, which is what we are seeing in Lagos.
Allegations are also surfacing that some government officials and bodies might be acting together with the protection of the police to illegally evict some settlements.
together with the police provide cover for them.
Two-thirds of residents in this megacity live below the poverty line of US$1 a day, and it’s estimated that over 70% live in informal settlements.
One reason for the increase in use of these forced evictions is that these lands are targeted for high-value property development projects.
These settlements are prone to evictions because they occupy land which is increasingly becoming targeted for high-value property development projects.
Allegations are often made that these forced evictionsIt appears that even in some cases
A struggling city
Many of these evictions follow the Lagos State Governor’s 2016 announcement that authorities would demolish all structures in informal settlements along waterfronts and creeks, to address security concerns. There are at least 40 of these settlements, home to at least 300,000 people who need somewhere to live.
Preventing further atrocities
We’re calling on Lagos State authorities and the Nigerian police to immediately take steps to address these human rights violations and prevent further atrocities.
They must launch an investigation into the forced evictions and violent attacks on residents, and hold to account everyone – including officers of state agencies – found to be responsible.
All victims of forced evictions must have access to compensation (including for any property damaged during forced evictions), rehabilitation, and a guarantee that this won’t happen again.