CSO kicks as Lagos demolishes houses during lockdown

Civil Society Organisation, Enough is Enough Nigeria, has condemned the demolition of houses in the Ogba area of Lagos State amid the coronavirus lockdown.

It said the demolition exercise carried out by the Lagos State Government negated the stay-at-home and social distancing order of the government.

Some of the demolished buildings

It stated, “Reports reaching us say, Lagos State Government is demolishing homes, sending the poor into the streets and rendering them homeless at Ifelodun Street, Oke-Ira, behind Yaya Abatan, Ogba.

“These actions undermine efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We urge the state government to cease the destruction of properties in Ogba. This is not the time to undermine national efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A caterpillar at the site on Wednesday

“We’re in the midst of a public health emergency. Our collective health depends on our ability to stay home and practice social distancing. It becomes more obvious than ever that ‘housing is health care’.”

Reacting in a statement, State Environment and Water Resources Commissioner, Tunji Bello, said the demolished structures were illegally erected on the drainage system in the area.

He, however, said the demolition exercise has been suspended.

He said, “The Lagos State Government, on Wednesday, announced the suspension of the on-going demolition of illegal structures on drainage alignments from Yaya Abatan to Obawole in Ogba area of Lagos State.

“The temporary suspension was in view of the need to effectively curb the coronavirus pandemic in Lagos.

“The demolition exercise was duly approved in February 2020 after several contravention notices had been issued to owners and occupiers of the structures.

“The exercise will be revisited by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources after a successful containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control as of Wednesday night, of the 873 total COVID-19 cases confirmed in Nigeria, 504 were recorded in Lagos, the highest by any state in the country.

The state has been on Federal Government-ordered lockdown since 11 pm, March 30, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the infection in the nation’s commercial capital.

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