LAGOS (AFP) – Forced evictions in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, have cost around 9,000 people their homes or livelihoods, Amnesty International and a local rights group said in a report Monday.
Tens of thousands more could be at risk if the government proceeds with plans to redevelop the slum area of Badia East, said the report, issued jointly with the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC).
Residents said armed police and bulldozers moved in without warning in February, forcing them out, in what the government has termed the first phase of its clearance plan.
“The effects of February’s forced eviction have been devastating for the Badia East community where dozens are still sleeping out in the open or under a nearby bridge exposed to rain, mosquitos and at risk of physical attack,” said Oluwatosin Popoola, Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher.
The report calls on Lagos authorities to halt the forced evictions, aimed at bringing order to the chaotic and crowded metropolis which is home to 15 million people.
“It is estimated that close to 9,000 residents of Badia East lost their homes or livelihoods,” said a statement on the report.
“If these plans proceed as described, tens of thousands will be at risk of forced eviction and face possible destitution.”