Residents of Makoko, a waterfront slum community in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, on Monday, embarked on a peaceful demonstration, urging the government to stop the ongoing demolition of their homes.
Leader of the protester and community leader, Mr. Emmanuel Shemende, told journalists that residents of the slum have moved 50 metres away from the high tension electricity power line, as directed by the Lagos State government.
Shemende also appealed to the Chairman of the Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr Olajide Jimoh, to assist the community in carrying their appeal to the State governor.
``Our people are not violent, our community is a peaceful community and we are indigenes; why deny us the right to our homes? The government has rendered us homeless, we have nowhere to go to `` Shemende said.
Speaking with journalists, another resident, Mr Joseph Ideebe, noted that the government should have mercy on them and stop the ongoing demolition, adding that they had not been given any alternative.
``We deal in fishing in this community. If we are sent out of this place, fish would be scarce for the people of the state, `` he said.
In the meantime, the Lagos State Police Command has arrested a police corporal, Pepple Boma, who allegedly shot a man to death while on duty at Makoko waterfront on Saturday.
The spokesperson for the command, Ms Ngozi Braide, disclosed this in an interview in Lagos.
She said that the corporal, attached to the Marine Police, Oworonsoki Division in Lagos, was being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.
Braide said that the suspect shot the deceased at the stomach on July 21 at mid day, while on a special duty with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
It would be recalled that while the Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA officials, escorted by armed policemen, were continuing the demolition of houses built on stilts at the waterfront, which the state considered unsafe and a nuisance to the environment on Saturday, the Police corporal allegedly shot a community leader in the stomach. The victim was rushed to the General Hospital, Gbagada where he was confirmed dead.
``The corpse has been deposited at the General Hospital, Ikeja for postmortem,’’ she said
The Police spokesperson appealed to members of the public to remain peaceful, and gave the assurance that justice would be done.