Peter Obi Fearfully Call Out Sanwo-olu, Says Ongoing Demolition is Punitive, Unduly Insensitive

Peter Obi Fearfully Call Out Sanwo-olu, Says Ongoing Demolition is Punitive, Unduly Insensitive
Peter Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi has indirectly sent a restive message to the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu over the ongoing demolition of some dilapidated structures in Lagos State.

Recall that the Lagos State government, after carrying out a set of integrity tests on some buildings in Lagos State marked some buildings that failed the test for demolition, in anticipation 5o safe lives from unforeseen building collapse that has the name of the state as number one in Africa.

Reacting to this, Mr. Peter Obi condemned the government's decision and regarded the outcome of the integrity tests carried out on the said buildings as "so-called Illegal Structures," language that challenged the competence of the concerned Lagos State Government agency, and the state government.

Although Mr. Peter Obi did not specifically mention a particular state or personality, the tone of his reaction to the demolition of buildings is coming at the same time Lagos State is demolishing some dilapidated structures at Alaba International Market, Lagos and some other areas in the state.

Some individuals said Mr. Peter Obi might be referring to the demolition of Abdullahi Ganduje's legacy projects in Kano State by the incumbent Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf but it is clear that Mr. Peter Obi's statement might have reflected advisory words against vindictive government or religious intolerance if his message was to target the Kano scenario.

Mr. Peter Obi's statement, however, posed him to have agreed that the owners of the structures were erred in ignorance, but critically condemned the government for taking such corrective measures.

Mr. Peter Obi's reaction to the ongoing demolition of structures, indirectly targeting Lagos State and Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu reads in parts:

"Recently, there have been reports of widespread government demolition of so-called ‘illegal’ structures erected by some innocent Nigerian citizens in error. We face a paradox: with a 70 million housing deficit and vast unmet housing needs nationwide, some resort to self-help by building structures that serve as homes, businesses, SMEs offices, and stores. Invariably, some of these structures were either not approved or were built with the tacit collusion or approval of the local authorities.

"While some of these ongoing demolitions may be excusable, they have nonetheless, left many victims, mostly ordinary people who erred innocently or were ill-informed or misguided. Necessary corrective measures to planning or zoning violations by governments, need not be punitive or unduly insensitive. There should always be room for compassion and humane correction in taking any remedial action. I respectfully appeal to various governmental authorities to marry the need to enforce compliance with extant regulatory regimes, with consideration for human feelings and necessary compassion. In Nigeria, we live in a time of extreme difficulties for citizens because of stagnated income, spiraling inflation, huge unemployment escalating socio-economic costs, and high costs of living.

"Nigerian citizens should, therefore, not be subjected to the additional stress of unexpected hardship. Moreover, the various concerned governments should consider paying compensation to those who have lost properties and livelihoods in these unfortunate demolitions to ameliorate their suffering. Such compensation should fall under the rubric of eminent domain that is applicable to properties and assets acquired or demolished in the public interest.

"It cannot ever be overemphasized that the primary duty of any government is the responsibility to care for and protect her citizens.

Category: World-News
Tag: Peter Obi Fearfully Call Out Sanwoolu Says Ongoing Demolition is Punitive Unduly Insensitive
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 6/27/2023 7:36:13 PM

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