Some Lagos residents have accused the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of policies that have affected them negatively.
Also accused of cruel actions against residents are Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Gbolahan Lawal Oniru of Iru Kingdom, and Saheed Elegushi, Oba of Ikate-Elegushi.
According to some Lagos residents, who spoke with SaharaReporters, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the world in ways many never envisaged.
Despite this, they claimed Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu and other government officials are using the period of the pandemic to further torment and strangle residents.
“Policemen have increased extortion on many roads, land-planning groups have increased demolitions of legal properties and the government continues to create policies that benefit them to the detriment of millions.
“It started with the ban of commercial motorcycles that witnessed approximately 20,000 residents lose their means of livelihood in February 2020. It got worse with no palliatives for residents despite the significant funding the government received locally and internationally.
“Furthermore, Governor Sanwo-Olu increased public transportation fare and many of his agencies such as LASAA have been harassing citizens for fees and taxes. In a state whereby many hundreds of businesses have shut down during the pandemic, there has been no financial break to residents but increased torment from the government,” a resident said.
Another resident accused Tinubu of publicly endorsing forceful eviction and demolition of properties in Lagos for private gains.
“Tinubu, known within the APC party as the party leader, said during a speech in August 2020 that the Supreme Court gave the planning constitution to the government of Lagos State and if they decide that all your designs and everything you are talking of real estate value is for either drainage, canal and all of that thing and they start demolishing some of it, you can do nothing.
“This blatant threat to all citizens from a master demolisher and crime king was spoken at the coronation of a king who many say was illegitimately installed by Tinubu and not legally a part of the royal family. Many allege that Gbolahan Lawal was simply a former bodyguard of Tinubu not chosen by the kingmakers nor through customary rights. In Tinubu's speech, it is evident that he has gotten away with establishing policies for his personal benefits for almost two decades.
“Millions are yet to recover from the illegal demolition and displacement of citizens from estates in Lagos such as Ajah, Otodo Gbame, Ikorodu, Elegushi and many areas across the state over the past years. Yet the torment has continued into what can be regarded as the worst year of the century for many.
“Lagos State has a motto that believes land money is oil money. Their process to wealth is to steal, displace, demolish and recycle land at the expense of millions of innocent citizens. This has gone on for two decades or more. From Lagos Mainland, to Lagos Island, to Ikoyi, Ajah and many areas across the state, citizens have lost their valued properties to government demolitions and illegal takeovers,” he said.
Recall that a resident of Ajah, Matthew Godwin, lamented recently that after his co-residents at New Era Estate struggled to gather funds to build roads and gates to secure their neighbourhood from armed robbery and other crimes, the government moved in to demolish the place without notice.
“We had hoped that our efforts will receive the commendation and support of the government but to the contrary, the government we looked up to were the ones frustrating our spirited and selfless effort to develop the estate,” he added.