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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid