Amnesty International reacts as Nigerian military evicts Tarkwa Bay residents

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Amnesty International has condemned Nigerian authorities over the violent and unlawful evictions that rendered thousands of residents of Tarkwa Bay, a waterfront community in Lagos State homeless.

On 21 January at about 8 am, personnel of the Nigerian Navy resorted to assault and shooting during the evictions at Tarkwa Bay.

“What is happening at Tarkwa Bay, Lagos is a violation of human rights. It is unacceptable that the Nigerian government are evicting people in the most violent manner and destroying their homes without genuine consultations, adequate notice, alternative accommodation or access to remedies,” Osai Ojigho, Director of AI in Nigeria, said on Thursday.

“The attacks on poor communities of Lagos must end. Throwing many families into endless misery is not the best way of addressing allegations of crime and urban planning failures of the authorities. We call for a halt to ongoing forced evictions.”

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Image result for tarkwa bay eviction
Image result for tarkwa bay eviction
Image result for tarkwa bay eviction

AI further lamented that spate of unlawful evictions have been going on in Lagos since last year.

“In November 2019, nearly 1500 residents of Second Badagry community in Lagos were forcibly evicted. Similarly, on 4 January 2020, about 3000 residents of Okun Glass Village, Ilaase were violently evicted by personnel of the Nigerian Navy. Several other informal communities in Lagos State live with perpetual threats of forced evictions. Many residents lament how forced evictions throw them and their families into destitution.”

“Nigeria’s international human rights obligations require the government to respect the right to adequate housing including by refraining from forced evictions. Both the Lagos State and federal governments have a duty to respect, protect, fulfil and promote the right to adequate housing of everyone,” said Osai Ojigho.

“The Lagos State and federal governments must immediately halt the attacks on the waterfront communities and establish a moratorium on mass evictions until there are regulations in place to ensure that evictions comply with international human rights standards.”

“Authorities must stop hiding behind concerns around pipeline vandalization or other crimes to deprive poor people of housing in Lagos. Governments must ensure that no one is rendered homeless or vulnerable to the violation of human rights as a result of evictions.”

AI advised that relevant government agencies must be mandated to consider all feasible alternatives to evictions in genuine consultation with all people affected.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has condemned the murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram.

Andimi was Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

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