BY MONSURU OLOWOOPEJO
LAGOS—Scores of widows yesterday, stormed the office of Governor Babatunde Fashola to protest the demolition of their shops across the state by officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, and the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit.
The aggrieved widows who arrived the governor’s office at about 9:00 am, lamented that the demolition had inflicted untold hardship on them because the demolished shops served as their only means of livelihood.
The protesters who were armed with various placards urged Fashola to order the officials to stop demolishing shops, saying that they have been plunged into poverty and penury since the demolition of their means of livelihood.
Some of the placards read: “Our shops have been destroyed with no hope of relocating us to another place,” “We love our governor, show us that you care about our plight,” “The death of our husband is enough pain, don’t add hunger,” and “KAI has dumped our children in hell, please, release them.”
The widows, under the aegis of Widows for Peace International, WFPI, said that the most recent demolition of shops at Suru Alaba Market led by the taskforce had inflicted further hardship to the plight of many widows whose only livelihood has been destroyed.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters President of WFPI, Mrs. Chinwe Dike said the taskforce chairman, Mr. Bayo Sulaiman led the demolition, saying that he also led the demolition of their shops at NAPEX Shopping Complex in Victoria Island where many traders, many of whom were widows were displaced.
Dike said “Till today, no alternative shops had been allocated to them. They were also not compensated for their losses arising from inhuman exercise meted out to them by the agencies of the state government. The constant harassment, castigation, chastisation and destruction of wares of widows by Lagos State operatives have become a major concern.