Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has criticised what it calls a rash of dehumanizing, degrading and insensitive demolitions of houses by the Federal Housing Authority at the FESTAC Town Lagos, even as the Rights group said the actions contradict the much publicised housing agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led administration.
HURIWA stated that although there are discordant tones on the validity of the rights of occupancy of those houses demolished, the group said it is unimaginable that an administration with a lot of emphasis on mass housing will at the same time be seen implementing extensive demolitions of houses even without permitting the residents to retrieve all their property on the day of the commencement of the demolition before executing the order of the Federal Housing Authority.
It said one of the landlords who pleaded anonymity, was seen picking iron rods in front of his house, said: “My property was completely demolished; as you can see, this one I’m living in was partially demolished. Everywhere in the area, houses are being pulled down.
Also, the Rights group recalled that a member of Maranatha Prayer Ministry who was seen gathering what is left from the demolished church building, said: “I am here to pull out the things. The story of this place is really confusing and I can’t say much.
“The people that escaped the demolition are those who built their houses years before the government asked the people to stop developing. So, if the people had listened to the government when they were asked to stop building, this wouldn’t have happened.
HURIWA therefore condemned the sporadic, hasty and inhumane manner and speed applied by the FHA to massively render thousands of Nigerian citizens homeless without even exercising the faintest discretion of permitting the home owners and resident the humane treatment of completely retrieving their property before the demolition which is a violation of section 14(2) (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides that the security and welfare of the citizens and their property is the primary duty of government. HURIWA is urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to pay compensation to those home owners and residents whose property was damaged.
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