Posted by News Express | 14 October 2016 | 2,966 times
Amnesty International has called on the Lagos State Government to abandon its plans to demolish all irregular structures in waterfront communities across the state within the next three days.
A press release on Thursday, from Amnesty International Nigeria researcher, Morayo Adebayo, said tens of thousands of residents of waterfront communities are at risk of imminent mass forced evictions in Lagos State.
Amnesty said: “Tens of thousands of people living in settlements along creeks and waterfronts, the majority of whom are poor fishing communities, are at risk of forced evictions.”
“This comes as a result of Lagos State authorities’ plans to demolish irregular structures in their attempt to improve security following a rise in kidnappings in Lagos.
Amnesty stated that the Nigerian authorities are prohibited under international law from using forced evictions as a punitive measure.
It said: “While the government needs to address the issue of abductions, destroying people’s homes and forcibly evicting tens of thousands of people from their homes can never be a lawful response.”
Adebayo added that many people in these settlements make their living in or near the Lagos Lagoon waterfront and are now facing terrifyingly uncertain futures.
“By attempting to push these residents off the waterfronts with just a week’s notice, no genuine consultations, and no provision of compensation or alternative housing, the Lagos State authorities are blithely violating international human rights law,” Adebayo said.
Amnesty also said Governments must consider all feasible alternatives to evictions in consultation with all affected people.
It said other due process safeguards must be followed, including the provision of legal remedies and compensation.
Amnesty added that governments have to ensure that no one is left homeless and provide adequate alternative accommodation for those who cannot provide for themselves.
Adebayo said: “It is staggering to think that Lagos still does not have a law prohibiting forced evictions and guaranteeing people’s right to housing.
“Authorities in Lagos need to establish a moratorium on mass evictions until they have regulations in place to ensure that evictions comply with international standards,” said Morayo Adebayo. (Daily Trust)
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