The Otodo Gbame is a poor fishing community close to the upmarket district of Lekki in Lagos.The destruction of informal settlements in Nigeria’s commercial capital has not spared the neighbourhood.
It is estimate that about 30,000 people have been rendered homeless as a result. Swanky private estates are rapidly coming up on land reclaimed from the Atlantic ocean.
Innocent Lawson is one such resident who narrated his anguish.
“Nothing, wee have no homes, we sleep outside. Help us so that the government can how they demolished what have been built with our money,” he told the AFP.
Authorities in the city are in the process of transforming Lagos into a modern mega city but with it has come the brutal reality of rapid urbanisation. Residents say that seized land is sold to the highest bidder.
Despite protests against the demolitions and rights groups warning that such a move risks leaving tens of thousands of people homeless, Lagos authorities say developing the city remains priority.
While building experts say that thousands are in dire need of shelter and are urging the government to provide affordable housing for the poor.