“This is Lagos State. We don’t care about court orders; take it to the Governor”, were the words of the authorities that accompanied demolition equipment to the Otobo Gbame community to carry out a demolition *scratch that* – a life-and-business-ruining exercise in the community days ago.
Although the Lagos state government claims the shanty community was brought down to forestall an environmental disaster, what it probably understands but fails to acknowledge is that this action is in itself a disaster. Rendering a over 4,500 residents of the state, including children homeless in one day is inhumane and barbaric. That the state made no effort to warn them of what was to come and thus, provided no refuge camp or alternative shelter shows that this government has no plans for the lower-class.
But what now concerns us mostly is that it looks like this is just the beginning of trouble for ordinary Lagosians. Let’s just say “we’re all in soup”, if we refuse to raise our voices against the Lagos monarch who says the Lagos state governor should not be contested against come 2019. In a democracy.
By asking other politicians not to bother vying for the governorship seat in 2019, Oba Rilwan Akiolu is attempting to disenfranchise Lagosians and it’s not within his rights as king. He has no such powers, he has no rights to impose a leader on Lagosians, especially now that the so-called leader is conveniently making life hell for an unbelievably large percentage of residents.
That Governor Ambode has refused to make a statement countering the monarch in the last 24 hours means he has assented to running unopposed in the 2019 elections. So his October 2016 threat to bring to ruins all shanties on waterfronts across the state still holds and who knows where and who his insensitive administration will target next?
The more unfortunate part is if, by chance, Oba Akiolu’s words hold water and this administration gets in for a second term, what will be left of Lagos when Ambode and his government is done demolishing?!