Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Demolition: A pupil’s Letter to Governor Fashola

Demolition: A pupil’s Letter to Governor Fashola

I am a fifth grader at the International School, University of Lagos. I commend the efforts of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, on his efforts to repair infrastructure in the state.

I am really concerned about the demolition of buildings in different settlements, a very good and visible example being the demolition of Tejuosho Shopping Complex in Yaba.

It was pulled down some months ago due to a fire incident which ravaged the place.

The places where these traders could find alternatives are 15 times the price they paid for their Tejuosho shops, while some of them have run into debts and cannot afford new outlets.

If, as they say, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, I’m worried that a good number of the displaced traders may be tempted to go into crime.

Sir, another case is the evacuation of the Ojuelegba under bridge. Obviously, you have done a really good and impressive job. But during an interview that I watched on television, I was devastated by the story of a woman who sold kolanuts and bitter kola under the Ojuelegba bridge. She is a widow and has nowhere to go.

I am not saying trading under the bridge is right; but when such actions like are to take place, alternatives should be provided for those that will be affected.

Now, that brings me to the introduction of the bus rapid transport.

You have really done a lot to improve the transport system in Lagos State, but sir, I have noticed a little problem on Yaba road leading to Sabo.

Before you get to Sabo Police Station on the right hand side when coming from Yaba, some houses have been demolished in the course of expanding the road for the BRT.

The Police Station was skipped. Two houses away is a three-storey building bearing an inscription that the court gave the owner a month within which to demolish it. Sir, as someone who intends to become a lawyer like you, I consider that as an act of injustice.

I have been taught by my Government teacher that there is something called the rule of law, and that there are three principles which guide the rule of law: principle of equality, impartiality and individual rights.

The principle of equality states that laws of a state or country should apply to all citizens, irrespective of their economic and political status (nobody should be above the law). This being the case, why pull down the three-storey building, while the Police Station was spared?

Sir, I have not said all I have in mind because everything should not be written in this short piece. I will like you to give me the privilege of seeing you and discussing some very important issues with you, sir.

I would really appreciate it if you could lend me your ears.

I also intend to become the Governor of Lagos State someday, and this has been my childhood dream.

I know by God’s grace my wish shall come to pass and I will accomplish my mission of making Lagos the place of our dreams!

Farhan O. Mohammed,

International School,

University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos.

Culled from The Punch published on Monday, 9 Feb 2009