The Federation of Informal Workers’ Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON) has vowed to join other civil society groups to protest on-going demolition of homes and livelihoods in the Obalende, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ajah, and especially the Shapata-Chevron, Small Kuramo, Ikate-Elegushi Waterside, Ikota-Ajah, Ligali-Ayorinde, Ilubirin parts of the Lagos Metropolitan Area.
According to a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the protest which is scheduled for Oct. 4, 2016 will commence from the Falomo Underbridge through Awolowo Road in Ikoyi and Onikan and end up at Alausa, the seat of the Lagos State government. A second movement will commence from Ikeja Underbridge to Alausa.
He explained that protest was necessitated “by an extremely dangerous trend of demonising poor working people in Lagos as illegal occupants, illegal citizens or simply ‘aliens’ to justify their evictions from their homes and workplaces. Sometimes, ‘mysterious fires’ are set on markets after which bulldozers move in to destroy markets with the goods and wares therein, subjecting traders to unmitigated losses, trauma and untimely deaths.
The statement added that till date, thousands of traders evicted from the Jankara, Sandgrouse and Mushin Ajina markets still operate on the streets where they are hounded every day, several years after the demolition of those markets, while reconstructed Tejuosho, Oyingbo markets remain unaffordable, therefore, unoccupied years after commissioning.
“Traders ejected from recently demolished Daleko, Alade and Owonifari as well as the informal markets in the Lekki, Ajah, Victoria Island and Obalende axis largely remain in limbo. The new frenzy with which the Lagos State government is proceeding with the demolitions at a time that most Nigerians are suffering the full effects of a biting economic depression, occasioned by the poor management of the economy characterised by massive job losses and business closures, calls to question the reason and justification of government in a democracy which remains the welfare of citizens,” it said.
The October 4 protests, it added, will proceed from Obalende through Onikan and end up at Alausa, the seat of the Lagos State government.