ABUJA — Nineteen villages inside the Nigerian capital are suing the government, demanding a halt to plans to demolish most of their homes and businesses. The government says the “villages” are actually shantytowns-settlements of illegal squatters.
Almost every tin or wooden shack and concrete building in this vast slum is marked with a large red painted “X” and the word “demo” for demolition or the letters “D.C.” which stands for “Development Control,” a governmental department.
At the end of this month, the government plans to take down every doomed building in Mpape, and 18 other communities in the Nigerian capital, which locals call “villages.”
Residents say they will be homeless. At a wooden yam stand on the side of the road, Patrick Osuji says he would not mind leaving if the government offered compensation or a new house. Under the current plan, he says, he and his three children have no where to go.
“They have marked everywhere,” he said. “We are not happy. We are angry. They do not want to give us another place. They just want us to stay outside like that? Stay in the cold weather? The rain will fall upon us. They do not care. They care only for their families. They do not care about us.”
Activists say about 1.8 million people could be displaced, but authorities dispute the figure.
The government says the area is almost entirely populated by illegal squatters, and residents do not deny it. Many say they purchased their land from previous owners, but the
Category: Africa News