Strikingly, Abuja was originally designed to be better organized than the commercial capital, Lagos, which is considered one of the most chaotic cities in the world and described by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a “jungle. “.
Although the majority of us in Lagos disagree with him. Unfortunately, plans for orderly development were abandoned by previous administrations, leading to the expansion of an unplanned urban subsidence on the outskirts of the city.
Fortunately, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s civil administration, as part of its obligation to return the city to its original master plan, has supported Nasir el-Rufai, his Federal Capital Territory minister, in the implementation of the Abuja master plan. Under el-Rufai, an allegory was created on the Abuja master plan to persuade people that the plan justified and required logical mass demolition and eviction. Painfully, it was a deliberate attack on the right to housing of hundreds of thousands of people. Massive demolitions and evictions, carried out between 2003 and 2007, resulted in the complete dismantling of houses in Abuja and neighboring villages.
It is interesting to note that in August 2012, the then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, in a letter advised the FCT and its then Minister Bala Mohammed , not to demolish houses in Mpape until a case is brought against the administration in the Federal High Court has been terminated.
Poignantly, nine years later, bulldozers invaded Quarry Town and the bustling town adjacent to Abuja’s upscale Maitama neighborhood, destroying over 2,000 illegal structures in the area.
According to the president, the FCT ministerial committee on the sanitation of the city, Ikharo Attah, the association of residents and owners of Mpape had begged the minister six months ago to come to their aid while illegal business activities had invaded the road corridors. Attah noted that the remediation and demolition was long overdue and targeted roadside slums and other unapproved buildings causing obstructions along the road.
Fortunately, the Nigerian news agency reports that the massive demolition and eviction also affected Lugbe-Across, Lugbe-Berger, Car Wash and Lugbe Zone 5, Iddo and other settlements and villages along the Giri road. -Gwangwalada near the University of Abuja.
Unfortunately, the massive demolitions and evictions are carried out with security personnel consisting of the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, the Nigerian Army, the Immigration Service and the Nigeria Air Force, as well as the Abuja Environmental Protection Council and FCT Department. Development control.
In addition, FCTA Command and Control Secretary Peter Olumuji claimed that many of the demolished barracks and illegal structures were occupied by criminal elements. He said: “Mpape is home to the largest number of criminal elements and many criminal activities that residents complain about.”
Conversely, the description of the condition in Nigeria today is not acceptable. For crime is a national consequence of the systematic criminality of a political economy of “piracy”. The biggest criminals are the ogas themselves in the country. People become armed thieves because they do not have the opportunity to earn a living and girls prostitute themselves for the same reasons.
Worryingly, we must reject claims that it is only in slums, slums or semi-urban areas that criminals inhabit or breed. Via, our politically exposed intellectual in the corridor of power, and government officials.
Nigeria, in particular, is a peripheral predatory capitalism that clings in force. In our society, we have a morbid ambition to grab land. There are situations where people in a high position abuse their position and abuse the trust people place in them due to the accumulation of state resources. Likewise, the capitalist members of the Nigerian ruling elite are deliberately creating a shortage to line their pockets at the expense of ordinary people. Here you are confronted with civil servants and civil servants as well as political figures making their fortunes with the misfortunes of the poor.
Once again, we see political candidates getting rich and powerful at the cost of the groans, sweat and blood of millions of Nigerians. Moreover, in this chaotic jumble of conflicting interests, only men and women of the harsher stuff, the cunning and the ruthless always become the respected and powerful people of society since they can always use their position to punish the people. poor unscrupulous.
International standards and human rights jurisprudence are very clear on eviction and other issues relating to adequate housing. These include the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Article 43 of the Constitution states: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria has the right to acquire and own real estate anywhere in Nigeria. Article 37 states: “The privacy of citizens, their homes, their correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is guaranteed and protected”. These provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended contradict mass demolitions and evictions under articles prohibiting arbitrary expropriation of property and violation of the right to privacy of the home.
Sadly, the Nigerian state has destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in waves of massive demolitions and evictions in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and many other cities, leaving thousands of poor people homeless.
At the same time, their right to adequate housing is violated by special government demolition groups. We believe that everyone deserves access to quality housing anchored in an affordable program. In the context and taking into account the acute housing shortage, the Nigerian state should allocate adequate resources. At this point, the CTF administration should responsibly provide assistance to victims of mass demolition and eviction.
Meanwhile, we call on the entire Nigerian state to comply with international standards on the right to adequate housing, to ensure that all law enforcement officials who assist in carrying out the evictions comply with comply with the United Nations Code of Conduct and the United Nations Basic Principles.
Olamilekan writes from Abuja via