The group which comprises mechanics, market traders, and farmers, among others, was led by the General Secretary of FIWON, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, who accused the Lagos State government of using the state’s megacity dream as an avenue to rob hapless residents of their lands, markets and businesses.
Home Lagos House of Assembly this Week Group Storms Lagos Governor’s Office, Urges Govt to End Demolitions
By Okunade Adekunle
A Group, Federation of Informal Workers Association of Nigeria (FIWON), who frowned at what they deemed illegal and deliberate demolition of buildings and markets often occupied by struggling people in the informal sector of the economy has stormed the Lagos State secretariat which houses the Governor’s Office and the Lagos State House of Assembly, demanding an immediate end to all demolition exercise in the State.
According to them, any government that fails to recognise the roles played by people in the informal sector in governance, and chooses to embark on the demolition of their houses and businesses, is sowing the seed of failure both in the short and long run.
“The Lagos State Government has been trespassing on the rights of the informal sector. They use officers of the state’s taskforce to intimidate law abiding residents who are going about their normal businesses,” He said.
“They harass and lock them up in prisons. Now, we understand that due to lack of space at Kirikiri, those arrested are now taken to Badagry. Sadly, when they come back from these prisons, most of our people do so in vegetative states, and some have even died,” He added.
Komolafe challenged the state government to build a megacity that would conform with the all-inclusive vision of the United Nations, rather than its current moves of “creating a city for a few.”
However in his reaction, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Hon.Olanrewaju Elegushi, promised to convey the message of the protesters to the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
He stated that the Ambode-led government was a government with a human face, and as such would not do anything against the law, and neither would it do anything that would undermine the well-being of residents of the state.
“Everything you have said has been taken note of, and it would be channeled to the appropriate quarters. I can assure that your complaints and plights will be critically looked into, and very soon, you will hear from the government,” He said.