Amidst the ongoing demolition of properties in Lagos State, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has strongly criticized the actions, urging governments at all levels to refrain from exacerbating the suffering of poor Nigerians by pulling down their houses.
In a statement posted on his Twitter page, Obi emphasized the need for state and federal governments to approach governance with a human touch. His remarks come in response to the demolition of houses in the Ajah and Lekki areas of Lagos State by the state government, citing violations of drainage channels and the state’s master plan.
Addressing the issue that has left many Lagosians homeless, Obi expressed concern that, given the current economic conditions in the country, governments should focus on implementing measures to alleviate the people’s hardships instead of compounding their difficulties.
“What a responsive government should be doing under the current harsh economic conditions in the country is to come up with measures aimed at alleviating the people’s hardships and to carry out measures that will take more people out of poverty,” Obi remarked.
He further argued that, even if there were violations, the critical time was not suitable for such exercises, considering the prevailing economic challenges. Obi stressed the impact on the poor, stating, “The poor in our midst who are putting their meager resources are going through very severe financial stress that should not be multiplied further. In some cases, the properties being demolished are the lifetime savings and retirement abodes of the aged and incapacitated.”
The former Governor of Anambra State called on governments involved in demolition exercises to consider the prevailing hardship in the country and to adopt a more compassionate approach to their actions.
As the debate on urban planning and the welfare of citizens continues, Obi’s stance highlights the importance of balancing developmental initiatives with a humane consideration for the vulnerable segments of society. The consequences of displacing individuals during challenging economic times are brought to the forefront, prompting a reevaluation of the timing and methods employed in addressing urban planning issues.