SPN CONDEMNS DEMOLITION OF HOUSES, MARKETS AND WORKPLACES IN IKOYI, LAGOS ISLAND, VICTORIA ISLAND AN
SPN CONDEMNS DEMOLITION OF HOUSES, MARKETS AND WORKPLACES IN IKOYI, LAGOS ISLAND, VICTORIA ISLAND AND OBALENDE
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Lagos state chapter, strongly condemns the demolition of houses, offices, markets and workshops in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Obalende, mostly belonging to struggling poor and middle class people, by the Akinwumi Ambode-led All Progressives’ Congress (APC) State Government under the guise of “urban renewal”. Based on available facts, demolition is already ongoing in places such as Shapata-Chevron, Small Kuramo, Ikate-Elegushi Waterside, Ikota-Ajah, Ligali-Ayorinde among other places.
We hold that the argument of government that they published notices in widely-circulating newspapers is completely ridiculous. We hold it that the government is completely alienated from the harsh realities of the mass of the working people, who cannot afford newspapers not to talk of getting notified through same. By and large, we condemn the extremely short notice given to the victims of the demolition and the lack of alternative provision by the government. Despite the excruciating economic crisis the masses are meant to go through, the Lagos State government is so insensitive to render thousands of people homeless and throw people out of their livelihood.
We view this action as savage, inhuman and anti-poor as it will invariably deprive large layers of ordinary people in the informal sector of their means of livelihood.
We hold that the real aim of the Ambode-led regime is to “grab” landed properties in these choice areas for their “good” party faithful, business friends and loyalists in government. This is more also given that the “big man’s haven” of Lekki, Victoria Garden City, Ajah and other choice arrears created from the demolition of Maroko and others (once an habitation of vast layers of poor people) is threatened by ocean surges and climate change crisis. Furthermore the huge drain called Eko Atlantic City, which has gulped trillions of naira of public funds that could have been better spent to make life easier for the working people of Lagos, may further actually aggravate ocean surges especially in the Eastern flank of the Lagos coastal waters, the Lekki-Epe axis.
We hold that the much-touted “Mega-city” that the Ambode-led Lagos State Government claimed that it is building is meant for the “mega-rich”, which will be built from the skeletons and bones of the “mega-poor”. This is the true face of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which despite its “change” mantra aims to continue the elitist program of his predecessors to turn the Lagos Island into the “paradise of the rich” and drive out the poor.
We support mass actions by the mass of the affected residents, artisans, informal workers, market men and women and the entire generality of the mass of working people to resist this fresh attempt to drive out the poor from Lagos Island and other places. This attack must not be taken lying low and an unstoppable mass movement must be built from below until victory is won.
We demand adequate compensation and alternative provision for all the victims of the demolition exercise.
We hold that this anti-poor action reflects the fact that the All Progressives Congress such like pro-rich parties (PDP, Accord, SDP, etc.) operate within the inherently unfair capitalist system and there is need to link the struggle against the savage attacks on the poor to the struggle for a democratic socialist order wherein the enormous resources of society will be galvanized and prioritized to meet the interests of the majority as against the tiny elite. This raises the need to bring into shape a genuine mass working people’s political alternative anchored on a socialist programme.
While the labour movement with its numerical strength, geographical spread and organic force in the broad working people’s movement should play the historical role of putting into shape such a mass working people’s political alternative, its leadership has played lip service to this urgent task. We call on all on workers, artisans, traders, young people, etc to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria in order to build it into a formidable political platform that will put the poor at the centre of development and defend the interest of the vast majority of the working masses.