The Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, has expressed concern over the recent demolitions of buildings in Lagos and other parts of the country.
In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, Obi called on governments at all levels to show compassion and avoid adding to the already heavy burden faced by the poor.
He stated that Nigerians are already struggling to cope with a variety of economic challenges, and urged the authorities to prioritize the welfare of their constituents.
In Lagos, there has been a series of demolitions in recent weeks, with the Lagos State Government and the Federal Housing Authority targeting buildings that are alleged to be in violation of the city’s master plan.
These demolitions have impacted a number of neighborhoods, including Ikota, Lekki, Alaba, Ajao Estate, and Abule Ado. This has led to displacement and homelessness for many people.
Commenting on the development, Obi said the exercise heaped extra hardship on Nigerians who are already battling with multi-dimensional poverty.
“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,” he said.
“Even if there are some violations as the governments are claiming, this critical time is not auspicious for such an exercise knowing the hardship in the land and the consequences it will have on the poor who are struggling to make ends meet with their little resources.
“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.
“My appeal therefore is for the respective governments involved in this act to consider the hardship in the country and try and put a human face to their actions. While we should enforce sensible regulations, all actions of government must show compassion.”