|Photo credit: from my friend Chimme Adioha|
It is so sad to see the government we elected and hoped for them to protect and provide for us turn against us. The same people who voted for and carried their banners around that will create a better world and bring us change are the same people that are rendering our fellow citizens homeless. The same government we entrusted all our hope and trust in ended up betraying us. They are making us hopeless, homeless and jobless.
Nigeria is a county in the west of Africa, a land flowing with milk and honey. A land where we are so blessed and do not witness any kind of natural disaster. In the words of my very good friend, Chimee Adioha: “but it is also painful that the only disaster we acquire is from our fellow human beings, the terror melted upon us by humans like us.” Badia-East is one of the swamp areas in Lagos and was recently demolished by the Lagos state government. The only crime that they committed was poverty and their punishment was destroying the only shelter they had, destroying a place they had called home froe years. It was not even conducive and comfortable for one to live in and yet they did not complain and lived happily while carrying out their business each day.
Now these armed men have taken their home away from them and there is no one to fight or speak out for them. Most people do not have the slightest idea that there are people like that who exist. Those that resisted against their homes being destroyed and begged to pack their belongings first were stripped naked, arrested, slapped and beaten. Why! Why!! Why!!! Why will a government that made a promise to protect everyone turn their backs on its people? Why destroy people’s homes and yet no compensation for them or another alternative for them. They are left with nothing; they sleep outside regardless of the rainy weather or the sunny weather. The children are not left out of this harsh treatment. They are forced to leave school, our future leaders. Their only crime was poverty. Yet these greedy leaders and government have their children travelling around the country with first class and some private jets. No regards for human life.
Homelessness is something that I pray and wish that people do not experience because it is a terrible experience but the people of Badia-East are suffering one because of the forced and illegal demolition of its selfish government because they want to create more space for the wealthier human beings. Why derive the poor masses of their space for the wealthier masses. The world belongs to everyone regardless of class, gender, religion, sexual preferences.
I feel for the little babies, the children that are out of school, for everybody that had to experience such an ill-treatment from the government and the armed men they trusted. My heart goes out to the business men and women that their structures were all demolished, for the women that got her baby taken away from her by force because of no shelter, for the woman that was half-stripped and slapped because she wanted to take her belongings before the demolishing, for the people that were slapped, abused verbally and physically by the armed men, for those that were locked up with no one to bail them.
I want to tell that change is coming soon but they just voted for change and yet no change came. I want to tell them that all hope is not lost but I don't know if that will be enough to console them. If that will a comforting word to people who just lost everything they have within a twinkle of an eye.