By Bola Kougbe
The United Nations has questioned the Lagos State Government for forcefully evicting slum settlers in the state.
The UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, Thursday, said “the evictions may have involved the extreme use of force and fire by the Nigerian police force and Lagos State government”. She added that it may have ignored international human rights guidelines on forced evictions.
Farha, in an urgent communication, asked the State government for information on the eviction, the methods used and their compliance with international human rights law.
But the Lagos State Government released a statement on the same day stating that the shanty town was destroyed by fires set during violence by ethnic groups within the community.
“While the Otodo Gbame shanties clearly fell within the prime waterfront areas where Lagos state government would prefer to have better development, befitting of a prime area in a mega city, it was mindful of the mental rights of the various residents living in the area,” the statement read in part.
It was gathered that 30,000 people were forced out of their homes in waterfront areas by security operatives, in defiance of a court order to wait.