By Ike A. Offor
A waterfront community known as Otodo Gbame, in Lekki, Lagos state is a shanty community for poor peasants and fishermen, is being burnt down by security agents and state workers hired and paid by the Lagos state governor.
Some of the residents of Otodo Gbame are being shot at sight. Some have been gruesomely murdered by Governor Ambode’s agents, while several others are in hospitals with gunshot wounds.
An eyewitness who spoke to a reporter from The Republican News had some heartbreaking news to tell about deaths, homelessness and misery of the families involved in this community.
There is an ongoing land grabbing project by the government at Otodo Gbame which has been reportedly brutal and reported by an international journalist Simon Ateba.
It appears the rich want to build the biggest malls, mansions, swimming pools at the expense of the very poor citizens, which is why the government wants to expand into this community and destroy their homes to eject them from the place they have known as home for centuries.
The poor folks are branded as criminals and forced out of the areas they reside to create places for the rich. Historically, these poor fishermen and their families have been in these waterfronts for centuries, which span several generations.
One Facebooker by the name Dr James King wrote bitterly about such incident of burning homes and homelessness, which he reportedly witnessed in the Otodo Gbame community in Lekki, Lagos.
The governor of Lagos Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is limpidly brutal and insensitive and inconsiderate in the manner he has been destroying homes and markets since he came to power. Now as governor, he’s acting heartlessly and illegally against the Otodo Gbame community. Reportedly, 5000 people have been rendered homeless.
He said …”Going to that place and seeing thousands of people and children homeless is tragic sight. Alternative shelter should be provided. Children right now are sleeping in rain and debris what was left of their demolished houses as Governor Ambode’s ruthless land grabbing continues. I took this pictures yesterday (08.04.2017), hours after the Ambode Police attack and shootings.
The woman in the picture her husband was killed by hired thugs as Governor Ambode continues with his heartless and illegal demolition. The land grab will continue but for her and her three kids now left widow and orphans, their lives would never be the same again. They have nowhere to go now. Since March 17, at least 4700 people have been rendered homeless at Otodo Gbame, a fishing, waterfront community in Lekki area of Lagos. Police also invaded the community on 09.04.2017, shot and set houses on fire. Witnessing all of it was heartbreaking.”
Comparatively, the former Kano state governor, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso did the same with heart by building homes and moving these kind of folks to their new homes before destroying their old homes, where the government wants to develop.
What is wrong if such heartwarming gesture is applied in Otodo Gbame community by the Lagos state government? What is the reason for shooting these people to kill them and burning down their houses? These people are already impoverished, making their wives widows and rendering them homeless are very heartless act indeed.