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Crisis brews in Lagos, Makoko community dares govt over land

Some of the representatives of Makoko community atfter press briefing in Lagos.


. Insists on non-relocation from ancestral land


. Kicks against dredging, sandfilling of lagoon


‘How would you takeover our land by force without our consent?’

By Valentine Amanze


The Makoko community in Lagos Mainland council of Lagos State has kicked against the state government’s plan to dredge the lagoon area.

The fishing community also disclosed that it would resist any plan by the state government to takeover its ancestral land and relocate residents.

The community made the disclosure at a media conference addressed by environmental activists including Nnimmo Bassey of Homef; Akinbode Oluwafemi of CAPPA, Betty Abah; and community leaders – Elder Claudius Akintimeyin and

Stephen Oduware – in Lagos at the weekend.

It warned that once the area was sandifielded or dredged the natives’ means of livelihood (fishing) was gone.

The residents pointed out that Makoko, with a population of about 500, 000 people, was the food hub of the state, stressing that if taken over by the government would result to food scarcity and hardship.

“We understand that the state government has concluded arrangement to convert the area to a Chinese enclave for commercial purpose, without considering the implication on we, the owners of the area.

“How would you takeover our land by force without our consent?

“Remember the plight of Maroko residents, when they were forcefully ejected by the state government. Many of them died. We are appealing to the state government to live our ancestral home for us. We are fishermen; and cannot survive outside our environment. Our people must be mindful of any document they are asked by the government to sign,” the community leaders said.

The community also stated that it had been supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC) state government and wondered why the same government it voted for insist on rendering the prople homeless.

The Makoko community further lamented that with its massive support to state government the people continued to suffer government neglect.

“If you come to our community, you will not sea government schools, electricity, hospitals, water or any other government presence in the area.

“The only health facility in the area, built by the private sector, was demolished by the government recently. Why is the state government treating us like this even when we pay taxes and other levies?” the community lamented.

The people of Makoko therefor called on the state government to make the area a tourist centre because of its topography and uniquiness and cultural value.

Contributing, Bassey wondered why there was no masterplan for the development of the lagoon community, while also condemning land grabbing attitude of some state government officials.

He however appealed to the state government to build a seafish port in Makoko instead of its current effort of land grabbing.

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