The many residents of Lagos State have stormed the office of the governor, demanding an immediate halt to the spate of demolitions in the city.
According to a report by The Nation, scores of Lagosians on Tuesday stormed the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa which houses the Governor’s Office and the Lagos State House of Assembly demanding an immediate end to all demolitions in the state.
The protesters who came under the aegis of the Federation of Informal Workers Association of Nigeria (FIWON), frowned at what they called illegal and deliberate demolition of buildings and markets occupied by struggling people in the informal sector of the economy.
According to them, any government that fails to recognise the roles played by people in the informal sector in governance, and chooses to embark on the demolition of their houses and businesses, is sowing the seed of failure both in the short and long run.
The group which comprises mechanics, market traders, and farmers, among others, was led by the General Secretary of FIWON, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, who accused the Lagos State government of using the state’s megacity dream as an avenue to rob hapless residents of their lands, markets and businesses.
“The Lagos State government has been trespassing on the rights of the informal sector. They use officers of the state’s task force to intimidate law-abiding residents who are going about their normal businesses,” he said.
“They harass and lock them up in prisons. Now, we understand that due to lack of space at Kirikiri, those arrested are now taken to Badagry. Sadly, when they come back from these prisons, most of our people do so in vegetative states, and some have even died,” he added.
Speaking further, Komolafe challenged the state government to build a megacity that would conform with the all-inclusive vision of the United Nations, rather than its current moves of “creating a city for a few.”
However, in his reaction, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Mr Olanrewaju Elegushi, promised to convey the message of the protesters to the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
He stated that the Ambode-led government was a government with a human face, and as such would not do anything against the law, and neither would it do anything that would undermine the well-being of residents of the state.
“Everything you have said has been taken note of, and it would be channelled to the appropriate quarters. I can assure that your complaints and plights will be critically looked into, and very soon, you will hear from the government,” he said.