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Lagos’ Demolition of Monkey Village, an Attack on the Poor, Children’s Education -CEE-HOPE

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) has criticised the Lagos State Government for the demolition of Monkey Village, an informal housing settlement in the Opebi area of the state.

In the morning of December 31, 2020, truckloads of policemen, taskforce officers and thugs descended on the community and with the aid of graders and bulldozers, pulled down the houses, displacing more than 400 persons including children. Many of the residents who had gone out for the day had their homes totally demolished with their belongings inside.

Stranded residents

An ICT Centre and youth hub built in the community by CEE-HOPE was also pulled down with several computers, library and other gadgets intact in the building. Pleas by community members who had the key of the centre to retrieve the materials were ignored.

Monkey Village’s children savour the ICT centre donated by CEE-HOPE during the recent commisioning in their community
The ICT Centre after the demolition Dec. 31, 2020

CEE-HOPE’s water project in the community was also totally destroyed. Several members of the community were also brutalised by the government-sponsored thugs, according to community sources.

Water project for Monkey VIllage Community by CEE-HOPE before the demolition
The remains of the CEE-HOPE water project to the community

After several denials by the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, the Lagos State Task Force office and other official quarters, the Lagos State Ministry Of Physical Planning & Urban Development: came up with a statement on Sunday January 3, 2021 accepting responsibility for the demolition exercise carried out on December 31, 2020, in Monkey Village. They gave ‘reclamation of wetland’ as the reason for the forced eviction exercise.

But in a statement on January 4, CEE-HOPE faulted the action of the Lagos State Government which it described as ‘crude, autocratic and a gross violation of all known laws and guidelines guiding the handling of such matters world over’ which has not only displaced 400 persons (currently homeless) but also endangering the educational dream of more than 200 of the community’s children.

‘It is indeed a crying shame that the biggest news out of Lagos every single year would revolve around the savage treatment of the urban poor,’ said CEE-HOPE’s founder/Executive Director, Betty Abah. ‘From Maroko, Makoko, Badia East, Iluibirin to Otodo-Gbame, and now Monkey Village, it is the same pattern of the gross abuse of the human and shelter rights of the urban poor, when Lagos is not the only state in Nigeria and when Nigeria is not the only place where we have slum settlement or indeed where the urban poor exists. Yet, the most painful for us was the destruction of educational facilities funded by private individuals and for the most vulnerable of children, and in a country with the highest number of out-of-school children, at a time of a global pandemic and during a national recession,’ she added.

Monkey Village chidlren with damaged computers picked from the demolished CEE-HOPE’s ICT centre

According to CEE-HOPE, the latest statement from the government was part of the layers of lies bandied by the Lagos State Government in the last few days to cover up the atrocity committed against the poor residents of Monkey Village. From claiming it was a take-over of a land under contest in court, to saying it was a hoodlums’ hide-out, it has now framed a wetland narrative.

‘But whatever it is, how come there was no prior notice to the residents to at least take out their few belongings before they were crushed by the graders?

According to Abah, Monkey Village sits on about 10 plots of land which belongs to about seven individuals. The individuals then gave out the land to the residents pending when they are fully ready to develop the place and each land is overseen by some members of the community who are well known to the land owners. She stressed that the people are therefore not illegal occupants neither have they ever been served any evacuation notice.

Now that an agency of the Lagos State government has finally come out to admit culpability in the entire fiasco, CEE-HOPE is therefore demanding the following:

1.           An apology to the community members for the gross violation of their rights, including the failure to follow due process by duly serving them formal notice.

2.            Compensation of every one of the community members for lost personal and household belongings.

3.            A relocation of the victims of this arbitrary forced eviction as guaranteed by the UN provision on Housing Right.

4.           Compensation of CEE-HOPE for the complete destruction of its multi-million Naira ICT Centre/Youth Hub in the community and water project.

5.           A promise by the government to end all such arbitrary actions especially with regards to the urban poor in future engagements, commit to meaningful engagement of informal housing residents rather than the usual use of brute force, commit to upgrading of such settlements as is the current practice across the world rather than forced eviction which pushes the poor into worse levels of vulnerability.

6.           That the Lagos State House of Assembly institute hearings into the incident, with a view towards addressing the issue and unearthing the personalities and real reasons behind this reckless, inhuman and lawless action which has been ongoing in this state unhindered, and which exacerbates the suffering of the poor and is in violation of the state’s supposed duty as the hope of the poor and vulnerable.

Betty Abah

Founder/Executive Director

CEE-HOPE

January 4, 2021

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BREAKING: CBN Bows To Pressure, Increases Withdrawal Limit to 500k

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revised its cash withdrawal limit policy, stating that individuals and corporate organisations can now withdraw N500,000 and N5 million respectively within a week.

Platforms Africa reports that the apex bank announced this in a letter dated December 21 and signed by the CBN Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa. The letter, which was made available to PlatformsAfrica, was addressed to all deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

“The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organizations shall be N500,000.00 and N5,000,000.00 respectively,” the letter read.

Cash withdrawal above the limits shall be subject to a processing fee of 3 per cent and 5 per cent for individuals and corporate organisations respectively.

According to the CBN, the decision to revise the policy was based on feedback received from stakeholders.

Previously, individuals were constrained to N100,000 cash withdrawals weekly and N20,000 daily while corporate organisations were limited to weekly withdrawals of N500,000.

“Third-party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over-the-counter, while the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques still subsist,” the letter added.

The CBN said monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the banking supervision department, other financial institutions’ supervision and payments system management departments.

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Breaking: Ronaldo To Join Al-Nassr For €200m euros per year

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Cristiano Ronaldo is close to agreeing on a mega transfer to Saudi Arabian outfit All-Nassr.

In a report published by Spanish publication Marca, Ronaldo has been offered a two-year contract by Al-Nassr, who are able to sign the 37-year-old on a free transfer following his departure from Manchester United.

CR7 left United by mutual consent this month
Available on a free transfer.

Marca reports that Ronaldo has also attracted interest from MLS, but he is very conscious of picking up the most lucrative wage possible if calling time on his illustrious career in Europe.

Al-Nassr are willing to pay the Portugal forward a grand total of €400 million if he agrees on a deal to play for the Saudi Arabian club until 2025.

Ronaldo’s second spell at Old Trafford came to an acrimonious end earlier this month as United announced the termination of his contract by mutual consent. The decision was made following the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan, during which he accused the club of betraying him and admitted to having no respect for head coach Erik ten Hag

Should Ronaldo indeed end up joining Al-Nassr, he will link up with another former Premier League star in David Ospina, who played in goal for Arsenal between 2014 and 2019.

The striker is currently starring for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup, and will hope for another start when Fernando Santos’ side wrap up their group stage campaign against South Korea on Friday.

Source: goal.com

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2023: Why I Will Vote For Peter Obi – Sheikh Gumi

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Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi has revealed what would make him vote for the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi in 2023.Gumi assured Obi of his vote if he can restructure Nigeria if elected president in 2023.

He spoke in Kaduna yesterday while playing host to the former Anambra State governor and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.Obi and his running mate were in Kaduna to attend an interactive session for presidential candidates organised by a joint committee of Arewa groups in the build up to the 2023 general elections. However, Gumi commended Obi for visiting and briefing him about his plan for Nigeria.

Sheikh Gumi

According to Gumi: “As you come here (Kaduna) people will like to hear your views about restructuring Nigeria; Nigeria has been restructuring itself from independence to date. It was never static, but I want to know about views on restructuring so that I can write on my Facebook page `this is the presidential candidate who can do this for me; I will assure him of my vote’”. Gumi also asked the LP presidential candidate how he intends to address the issues of agitations and poverty in the country.

“How are you going to deal with the issue of polarity and agitations across Nigeria? Every region is agitating because people are not happy, how are you going to make these people (agitators) happy under one table?“You talked more about the economy; the economy sometimes is more than the figures,” he added.

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