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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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PETER OBI VISITS SOLUDO

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Peter Obi and Chukwuma Soludo

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has paid the Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, a courtesy visit at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

Soludo and Obi met behind closed-doors after which Obi lauded Soludo for the “great job he is doing in Anambra State.” This is contained in a statement posted to the Facebook Page of Soludo TV on Friday. The statement, which is titled, ‘Soludo receives Peter Obi on a courtesy visit’, read: “Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, received earlier today, Mr Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State and Presidential candidate of the Labour Party at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

“Both leaders had a mutual discussion behind closed doors. Afterwards, Mr Peter Obi commended Governor Soludo highly for the great job he is doing in Anambra State. Governor Soludo, on the other hand, welcomed Mr Peter Obi to Anambra as a prominent son of the state and wished him well in his Presidential bid as the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party.”

After the meeting, Soludo, wrote on his verified Facebook Page, “Today after my engagement with the YESS family, I received in audience my brother and Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, in a private meeting at the Governor’s lodge, Amawbia.

“Mr. Obi is one of the two illustrious Sons of our dear State gunning to be the President of Nigeria. The other is Justice Peter Umeadi of our great Party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

“As the Governor of these great Sons of the State, I am proud of this moment in history. And wish them the best of luck.”

Source: The Punch

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Peter Obi in Close Meeting With Ortom, Wike, Mimiko, Ikpeazu, others

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The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, yesterday met with the Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike and other governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State.

The meeting is the second time Obi would meet with Wike after dumping the PDP and declaring his presidential ambition.

Obi’s meeting was disclosed via Twitter by former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko.

Mimiko disclosed that the meeting was held yesterday night.

Others in attendance include, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; former Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwanbo; Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu; Mohammed Adoke and several others.

Sharing a photograph of the meeting, Mimiko wrote: “Nice to share some time last night with @GovWike @Donald_Duke @PeterObi @HEDankwambo @GovSamuelOrtom @GovernorIkpeazu, Mohammed Adoke SAN and many other friends.”

As of the time of filing this report, the aim and location of the meeting is unknown.

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Police Arrest “BUGA” Singer, Kiss Daniel

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Music star, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, also known as Kizz Daniel has allegedly been arrested by the Tanzanian Police.

Kizz Daniel was arrested for not showing up at his scheduled concert.

He was scheduled to perform at the Warehouse, Old Nextdoor Arena in Tanzania on Sunday but did not show up to the venue.

Disgruntled fans had taken to social media, expressing displeasure over the Singer’s failure to show up on Sunday.

Reports said the ‘Buga’ crooner refused to mount the stage because he allegedly forgot his travelling bag in Uganda and didn’t want to wear borrowed clothes.

However, the angry fans who reportedly paid $5000 for tables were seen hurling bottles at each other and destroying properties at the event centre.

A viral video of the arrest showed the singer wearing a hooded jacket and being led into a police vehicle.

This is the second time the singer has failed to perform at a fully booked concert while fans waited.

He had last month kept fans waiting for hours at his DMV concert in New York but later blamed his no-show on immigration challenges.

Source: The Punch

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