News / Africa

Satellites Prove Forced Evictions in Nigeria, Amnesty Says

A section of the Badia East community in Lagos, Nigeria, before the forced eviction on February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center)
A section of the Badia East community in Lagos, Nigeria, before the forced eviction on February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center)
Heather Murdock
Amnesty International says satellite imagery shows 9,000 people have been forcibly evicted from their homes or businesses in a Lagos, Nigeria slum this year. And while residents told the organization that they were forced to leave at gunpoint, the government says the area was a trash dump.
 
It is an old story, and it is not just in Nigeria. Poor people build makeshift homes on empty land. When the land becomes valuable they are forced out. Amnesty International says in February of this year, an area known Badia East in Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city, was demolished with no warning to residents.  
 
The organization's Meghna Abraham said armed officers accompanied construction crews to the demolition, and they told people “If you love your life, move out.” Many of those people, she said, still are homeless and jobless.  
 
“A lot of them had these small businesses and were self-sufficient in the past, but now have lost their sources of income in addition to their homes so are completely dependent on families or friends to give them even basic necessities - clothing, food,” said Abraham.

A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))
x
A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))
A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))
Families, she added, also remain separated by the destruction of the neighborhood. “A lot of people commented on the fact that they have had to send their children away because they have nowhere to keep them while they're homeless. The consequences have been very, very devastating for people.”

She said some government officials told Amnesty the area was a rubbish dump, while others reported there were evictions when the land was cleared to make way for what will be new, mixed-income housing.  
 
Abraham says this is part of a larger pattern in Lagos State, citing forced evictions in 2012 in a fishing village called Mkoko on Lagos Lagoon.  Both Badia East and Mkoko residents are fighting in court to keep their homes.

But not everyone in Lagos state thinks this pattern is a bad thing.  The state government led by Governor Babtunde Fashola has been widely praised for development projects that directly impact the people, like building a railway and fixing roads.

Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)
x
Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)
Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)
As he waits for a city bus, a marketing executive said tearing down slums, which he calls ‘shantytowns,’ reduces crime and makes Lagos more appealing for tourists. “I think it is a welcome development. I think it is a good idea for the government of the state to destroy shanties and try to develop a new site.”

Amnesty International says Nigeria lacks a legal framework to protect people from forced evictions, which make the evicted residents poorer and more vulnerable. But development officials say destroying slums and replacing them with planned communities is one way they hope to lift Nigeria out of poverty.

You May Like

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ahmed karim from: nyc
August 13, 2013 6:01 AM
Africa, Africa, Africa ! Old boy . We seem to be experts in doing things the reverse way to the white people from whom we seem to be copying everything. How could you buldoze a place whithout providing at least a temporary place for these thousands of people you are displacing? What is the purpose of a Government? It is to help protect its own citizens. but in Africa, the citizens are enemies and had to be crushed. What a life? You disrupt your own citizens' lives without providing any alternatives to them. it is just a command and people have to obey. When shall we ever be civilized and be humans?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs