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Avoid demolishing houses

Published by The Nation on Thu, 14 Feb 2019

A non-gOVERNAMENTAL Organisation (NGO) Nigeria Slum/Informal Settlements Federation and some civil society groups have urged politicians to provide shelter for the electorate instead of demolishing their houses.At a conference in Lagos,the founder, Rethinking Cities, Deji Akinpelu, said people were sceptical on who to vote for, beacuse politicians always demolish houses after election.He said policies and actions of the Lagos State government indicated a different approach to the welfare of the people.He said the demolition mostly affected the poor who often find it difficult to get new accommodation, urging politicians to reframe from acts that multiply the pains of the ordinary people.Akinpelu said: They demolish houses under the guise of urban renewal, slum cleaning and demolition of illegal structures. They forcefully evicted people from their informal work places, market places and mechanic villages.This has continued to render many people unemployed, today many families are hopeless and do not know how to survive the harsh economic realities. Their lands have been taken over by land grabbers, using the state as cover.Worried by this spate of relentless attacks on work places and communities, the coalition of civil society organisations have decided to come together for the purpose of engaging political office holders, aspiring political office holders on the need to halt the continued force eviction of the citizens.He said the government must respect the right of poor living, noting it was unfair of them to elected only to turn around and render them homeless and jobless.We are ready to cooperate with incoming government to realise a Lagos that answers to the yearnings of her citizens, but will be ready to oppose government policies that undermine the right to decent shelter.
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