May we give a round of applause to Hon. Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the deputy governor of Lagos State who did what was expected of an elderly woman at a public event last Wednesday. You may wonder why she should be applauded when she only did what was to be expected, but don't forget that ours is a country where most 'elders' look the other way while heavily-pregnant goats deliver in tethers.
The deputy governor is worth the clap for taking exception to what should be frowned at but have been allowed to assume the status of a norm in our society. She, at that event, stood up for her number one constituency which is womankind. She also proved that she has indeed had a stint with social work. All these and more she evinced by just throwing one stone, like the Reggae musician, Culture, would sing.
You wouldn't be forgiven if you expected anything less from a princess who has a committed passion for the emancipation of the womenfolk. No, such a person can't be present yet stomach what went down that day. I can imagine how uncomfortable the former Lagos House of Assembly member would have felt while the desecration lasted. How she prayed for the show to end abruptly so she can address the anomaly.
But she kept her cool till the end only for her to make the correction in an indulgent manner, adopting what was more like a slap on the wrist for an offence some hardliners would only have been placated by the severing of wrist. And if you ask them, they will quickly remind you of the good book's injunction for us to chop off whichever part of our body that comes between us and heaven. We shall return to this presently.
However, before we veer off too far, the woman chose the path of dialogue. Do you blame her? Of course, not! If there is any word that has been most mouthed in our polity right now, that word is surely dialogue. It is so much on every tongue that GEJ had to inaugurate an advisory committee just for it. Who knows, our Lagos mummy may have opted for dialogue as a form of rebuke in order to put her in better stead to dialogue when the stage is set for the national version. Let's now hear the dialogue that ensued between her and her interlocutors:
Deputy Governor: I guess you are professional dancers?
Interlocutors: Yes ma!
Deputy Governor: If you must entertain without pants on, certainly not in a gathering like this. Just see how you are disgracing and degrading womanhood. Don’t try it again.
Interlocutors: Yes ma!
Still lost, I suppose? Let me find you. The dialogists are kukere crooner, Iyanya's female dancers who wore no pants while they danced seductively. The conversation happened shortly after the sensational artiste and his troupe performed at the closing ceremony of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer that was staged at the Campos Mini Stadium in Lagos Island.
Footages from that event which went viral on the social media revealed how the dancers in question appeared almost naked such that it wouldn't take much peer before their pudenda are gleaned. To make matters worst, they danced like agents of satan sent to advertise sex by flaunting what traditionally shouldn't be flaunted.
Indeed, provocative would be an understatement for what they displayed. Yet for all of this, Hon. Orelope-Adefulire only charged them to take their display elsewhere! Verily, you will be forgiven if you expected more from her. There are lots of options before her, even within the ambit of civility, that could have been employed in ramming her disgust in and avoid a recurrence. I'm talking of options that could cause the dancers to change profession, but the good lady chose to be gentle instead.
Excuse me, did I just call for a round of applause for the deputy governor? My bad! It should have been a round of half clap, if there's anything like that. So, feel free to collect the remaining half from her, if you can. While we try to accommodate the temperate scolding she gave, her asking the dancers to take their flirtatious brand of entertainment elsewhere is a no-no! Hence, she should please make do with a half clap.
Given her statement that their show shouldn't be 'in a gathering like this', that ordinarily suggests that such display can be taken elsewhere. This elsewhere can be on music videos with impacts that would be even more devastating. It can be on television channels where advertisers would employ their craft on the claim that sex sells. The right thing would have been for the honourable to use the opportunity that availed itself to dissuade the girls from engaging in such an act no matter the setting.
If it so pained her, she could have demanded a means of contacting them or prevailed on them to see her afterwards. When they do, she could re-orient them after which they will be empowered to reach-out to other ballerinas who are still disgracing the sanctity of womanhood in other gatherings and under different capacities. Only this would have guaranteed that the gals and their like won't try it again.
The above option should have been favoured in view of the fact that the girls who were cautioned weren't just dancing for the fun of it. Rather, they performed because that is how they make ends meet. They may not have wanted to dress that way but were cajoled by the higher pay such costume would attract.
Given that this is how they earn a living, it then becomes unreasonable and unjust for anyone to ask them to give that up without providing an alternative means of livelihood. It becomes even hypocritical for the person making such demand to be in a position to provide a more decent job yet chose to be mute about that. Now you know why the number two citizen of Lagos State reserved other options before her.
Be that as it may, it is good that she at least condemned their desecration of womanhood. That is one profanity we know women to always stand against. I have witnessed an scene where a deranged lady was about stripping herself bare but was stopped by women around who rallied round and covered her with a wrapper donated by one of them.
If they could do this for an apparently raving female, why can't they prevail on ethically-mad ballerinas who appear almost naked in the guise of entertainment? The girls engaged in this nudity definitely have mothers, aren't their mothers curious about the kind of work their daughters do? Or do they know yet see nothing wrong in it since that pays the bills and makes their daughters stars? All these are vain things which a mother who ab initio did not bring up her girl-child well will glory in.
And now the poser: where are the women societies and women-cause advocates who should be campaigning against what musicians are turning young members of their gender into? I sense they have been so busy chasing 35 per cent affirmative action that they have rendered this one negligible. Looking at Iyanya, who the ballerinas were dancing to his singing, he was well clad concealing what everyman should conceal, why then should those dancing for him not clad themselves well enough?
It is in reaction to this that American divas like Beyonce, Rihanna and sorts are now trying to make boys act in a manner that degrade manhood in their music videos. This points to their acknowledgement that females are being abused in musicals, albeit they started it. Warts and all, that wouldn't change the given that womanhood had been and has continued to be desecrated globally on the altar of entertainment.
This smacks of the selfishness of the average Nigerian music artiste like his counterparts abroad. They don't really care about us, neither do they still give a heck about morality. They are basically about anything which helps in increasing their fan-base not minding how injurious that thing is to the society. I'm sure Iyanya would least be bothered when told that one of those who watched his performance that day went ahead to rape an under-aged girl.
We have really suffered at the hands of our music stars. After leading many to sin through their sex-glorifying lyrics, they are rubbing it in with pornographic visuals as well. If only Hon. Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire had spared some words for Iyanya as well...
In the below image taken Thursday Feb. 28, 2013 A bulldozer levels the site of demolished houses at Ijora Badia slum in Lagos, Nigeria. The bulldozers arrived at dawn to this neighborhood of shanty homes and concrete buildings in Nigerias largest city, followed by police officers in riot gear carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles. The police banged on doors, corralling the thousands who live in Ijora-Badia off to the side as the bulldozers blades tore through scrap-lumber walls, its track grinding the possessions inside into the black murk of swamp beneath it. It left behind only a field of debris that children days later picked through, their small hands dodging exposed rusty nails to pull away anything of value left behind. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
A man sits in the rubble of his partly demolished house at Ijora Badia slum in Lagos, Nigeria, (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
children stand on the rubble of a demolished house at Ijora Badia slum in Lagos, Nigeria. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode’s piece titled, Lagos, The Igbo and Servants of Truth made an interesting reading. The clearly unconstitutional deportation of some Nigerians (of Igbo extraction) from Lagos to Anambra State on the grounds that they were destitute was the catalyst for Fani-Kayode’s outburst. His and other uninformed response to an issue that is essentially a constitutional matter has once again exposed the fault lines in our so called unity in diversity.
I was tempted to ignore the said contribution just like a few others that made no sense to me. However, I feel obliged to respond to Fani-Kayode simply because he claims to be a student of history and a historian as well. He no doubt imagines himself informed and thus on a mission to educate, in his words “younger Nigerians” who need to learn “to do their own research and to study their own history”. It is against this background that this intervention will attempt to evaluate his claims and ascertain their veracity or otherwise.
Fani-Kayode made four main assertions:-
1) That the relocation from Lagos to Anambra of 19 destitute persons of Igbo extraction by the government of Lagos State was in order.
2) That the Igbos have nothing to do with the development of Lagos “other than Ajegunle, Computer Village, Alaba and buying up numerous market stalls in Isale Eko”.
3) That “younger Nigerians” (and I read that to mean “younger Igbo Nigerians”) are ignorant of their history and need to do their research like the one he has done in the piece under discussion.
4) That Lagos was developed by Yoruba money (whatever that means) and not oil money.
I understand that Fani-Kayode is a lawyer. Any lawyer knows that the forced “relocation” of a Nigerian citizen under our constitution without recourse to law or due process is a gross infringement on the fundamental right of that person irrespective of the person’s state of origin, circumstance of birth, social status or occupation.
Indeed, the reference to these citizens as destitute which was the basis for the breach of their most fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution is reflective of the contempt which the ruling elite now hold their fellow citizens simply because of their privileged access to the Commonwealth.
These destitute and homeless people were displaced by the greed and visionless policies of successive governments. Lagos State government as one of the few functional governments in Nigeria must realise that part of the responsibility of government anywhere in the world is the care and welfare of the weak and vulnerable segments of the society. This attempt to criminalise poverty in a dysfunctional and deeply corrupt environment that is ours is intrinsically immoral and reprehensible evil. Human beings are not refuse to be dumped by trucks at bridgehead in the middle of the night. This act does not reflect our core values and do not mirror who we are. The rights invested in the citizen under the constitution are so sacred that no responsible government would trample them in this manner.
One of the sore points in the United States drone war against terrorists arose as a result of the assassination of a known terrorist who happened to be an American citizen. The indisputable fact that the victim was a terrorist did not make his killing acceptable because he was first and foremost an American citizen and the government has no power to kill American citizens without recourse to law and due process. What I had expected Fani-Kayode and the army of “human right” lawyers (who are mainly Fani-Kayode’s kinsmen) was to rise in defence of the common man irrespective of their origin, class or creed. It is sad that they became silent because the victims are Igbos!
I know Governor Babatunde Fashola is a smart person and I believe that he would soon do the smart thing by acknowledging this wrongful act, make amends and move on with his good works. Fashola does not need the meaningless posturing of Fani-Kayode and the other political chameleons defending an indefensible act.
It is a gratuitous insult for anybody to suggest that the only contribution the Igbos have made in the development of Lagos is in the area of trade and commerce. Yes, the Igbos are proud of their entrepreneurial skills just as the Yorubas are proud of their penchant for funfare and merriment. Every tribe has an identity.
Lagos boasts a mega-city status not due to its indigenous population but its non-indigenous immigrant population comprising Yorubas, Igbos, Hausas, Ijaws, Efiks and other Nigerian tribes. Historically, Lagos indigenous population were not famous for their intellectual or commercial endeavours. The emergence of Lagos as a centre of trade and commerce started with its contact with Portuguese traders in the 15th century when it became a major market and outpost for shipment of slaves to South America.
Interestingly, modern day Lagos was founded by the Bini in the 16th Century. The Bini ruled Lagos until 1851 when the British colonialists captured the city and later annexed it in 1861. With the abolition of slave trade, returnee freed slaves who have been exposed to western influence and education became the first intellectual community. These freed slaves were not only Yorubas but (as their names suggest) also from other ethnic groups affected by the slave trade. These pioneers of modern Lagos were Nigerians from all parts of the country. Most of the slaves were actually captured from the hinterlands and taken to the sea ports for transportation.
In modern day Lagos, the influence of Igbo merchants dates back to the commercial exploits in the transport sector of Sir Louis Odimegwu Ojukwu and other numerous Igbo business pioneers whose offsprings today control more than 40% of the major financial institutions in Nigeria and whose contributions to the GDP of Lagos State over the years run into trillions of naira. These are the pioneers who can rightly claim Lagos as we know it today. Ikeja which was the administrative headquarters of Lagos State for more than 25 years and had a huge Yoruba population cannot boast 10 (ten storey buildings) that was not built by the federal government or privately owned by immigrant business concerns.
This claim that Lagos was not developed by oil money is turning truth on its head and a complete hogwash. Lagos served as the capital of Nigeria from independence to 1991. In this period, a substantial investment in infrastructure by the federal government was concentrated in Lagos. The Third Mainland Bridge and virtually all major roads in and out of Lagos were all constructed and some are still being constructed by the federal government to date. Where did the federal money come from? Maybe from Fani-Kayode’s cocoa plantations.
Since he is a historian, it may interest Fani-Kayode to know that in the early part of the 17th century , the Oba of Bini sent a war expedition led by Prince Ado to Lagos over a minor issue of disagreement over the passage of the Oba’s merchants through Lagos. The people refused to fight and instead welcomed Prince Ado and his soldiers and requested him to govern them. Prince Ado agreed on the condition that they surrender their sovereignty to the Oba of Bini which they quickly accepted. Consequently, the Oba of Bini in exercise of his authority over Lagos sent some of his chiefs including Eletu Odibo, Obanikoro and several others who assisted Prince Ado in the running of Lagos. These are indisputable historical facts and not the falsehood Fani-Kayode wants to teach younger Nigerians as history. The reality is that modern day Lagosians have so intermingled that no single tribe or people can claim it even though the predominant language is Yoruba.
The reference to Lagos often as “no man’s land” is not in bad faith or taste but more as a tribute to Lagos as the amalgam of all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and beyond. I have not met an Igbo man who traced his ancestry to Lagos. This brazen attempt to cause disaffection amongst inhabitants of a mega metropolitan city is in my view unbecoming of a man who claims to be a nationalist.
I do not know which generation of Nigerians of Igbo extraction Fani-Kayode wants to learn history but I do know that most Igbos born after the civil war are aware of their history despite not witnessing the tragic events of the civil war. I do not think that Fani-Kayode is a nationalist. Genuine patriots walk the talk and do not engage in acts or utterances that polarise ethnic groups and deepen mutual suspicion.
Yes, God will deliver Nigeria but He urgently needs to deliver the bigots and purveyors of ignorance in our midst.
•Chuka Odom is a former Minister of state (FCT)
"We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having firmly and solemnly resolve, to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation under God, dedicated to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding. And to provide for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people" - The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
When it comes to the constitution, Nigeria’s political class abandons discretion so stupidly. The legal impotence of the Nigerian constitution will likely rank first when compared to other developing nations of the world. Politicians, the corruptly enriched and powerful routinely find creative ways to simply side-step sections that they deem inconvenient or uncomfortable. The section dealing with fundamental rights of Nigerian citizenship had long been dust binned and completely forgotten. When convenient or supportive of some of their excesses, like the devil who quote the Bible to justify an evil scheme, these corrupt politicians recite the same constitution often violated at will.
Governor Babatunde Fashola toed this now predictable line, barely, twenty-four hours after trampling on the protected rights of ordinary Nigerian citizens. Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, sought refuge in the principles of separation of powers when protesting a call for the national government to review his reckless acts. The validity of contested provision is not in doubt, yes Fashola have state police powers. However, he has absolutely no powers on earth to deport a fellow citizen! The right of citizenship is inalienable and remains the fundamental principle of society. Today, with evil power-drunk dictators, like Babatunde Fashola, those rights mean little in Nigeria.
Somebody should whisper into the ears of Fashola that the ultimate purpose of separation of powers is to protect the liberty and security of the governed, as opposed to giving him the unfettered discretion to decide who to forcefully kidnap and deport to any place of his choice.
To understand the game that Fashola is playing, we may have to take a big leap to the past to see how our leaders, treat citizens (citizens is often viewed as a derogatory term by corrupt politicians).
DEPORTATION OF ALHAJI SHUGABA ABDULRAHAM
My first encounter with this ugly fact was as an eavesdropper in a conversation between my father and a gentleman. The man, a radical (a term often used by the government to discredit social critics), had then asked my father, the worst possible thing that the government can do to a Nigerian citizen. My fathers of blessed memories, was quick with his answer, denial of the right of citizenship. In complete shock and horror, I listened as my father narrated the story of Alhaji Abdulraham Shugaba.
During the years of "Shagari –Democracy" a one-party dictatorship similar to what we have now, NPN was in power. Shugaba, a member of the opposition party, GNPP was a strong opponent of the all-powerful NPN in Bornu State. He was a very flamboyant orator whose populist agenda appealed to his constituents. Shugaba, became too popular and could not be rigged-out by the NPN (then with a slogan, NPN-POWER!). Shugaba was a huge challenge to the power of NPN to rig in any politician of their choice.
Through a scheme and a series of political intrigues that will even baffle a hard-core Machiavellian, he was labeled a citizen of a neighboring country, Chad. Undeterred, he blasted the NPN rigging machines and called them citizens of Hell.
Black-market court injunctions were hurriedly purchased by the NPN, preventing him from contesting elections based on lack of, Nigerian citizenship! A determined Shugaba, painstakingly and successfully challenged most of the early injunctions. His success at the tribunals outraged the ruling oppressors.
His detractors became more desperate that he could have ever imagined. NPN, purchased another decision with a deportation order, without procedural due process. Before, Shugaba could say, “appeal,” Security agents were in his house very early in the morning, all armed to the teeth. Before the embattled Shugaba could say "what-up?" he was whisked away in his sleeping clothes (half-naked, barefooted) and deported to Chad. The protests of the Chadian government, that, Shugaba is not from Chad, met the unsympathetic ears of the ruling class.
The sensibilities and conscience of Nigerians were agitated, that was then, before the current state of hopelessness. A group of people with similar political interests mounted a legal defense. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, thank goodness, the apex court overturned the deportation order.
Monetary damages were awarded to the obviously rattled Shugaba, no amount of money can compensate one for such blatant and traumatic ordeal. The sad thing is that, Shugaba had to overcome high artificial obstacles before he was given a fraction of the court award. The result was again surprised, oppressive leaders found a weapon of choice, deportation.
DEPORTATION AS A WEAPON BY IBB - PATRICK WILMOT.
When a professor in ABU, Patrick Wilmot, became critical of the excess of Babangida, the man called Maradonna simply laughed. Nigerians watched helplessly when without any due consideration to his legal status, Babangida deported the hapless professor.
GOV. BABATUNDE FASHOLA’S FORCEFULLY SEIZURE, AND “DEPORTATION” OF FELLOW NIGERIANS THE HEIGHT OF CITIZEN ABUSE.
Now, the ruling class is moving it notches higher, of course in geometrical progression. Deportation based on poverty, is even worse that the above cases and that is exactly what Fashola is doing, period. What the man who at the bare minimum understands the meaning of human rights is doing is unreasonable or more obnoxious to Nigerian constitution which he once swore to uphold.
When Gov. Babs Fashola started his new wave of violating fundamental human rights of Nigerians, he did by deporting, Northerners. His rationale for the deportation was "to free the state of the destitute and beggars, and who are mostly from the northern part of the country." Some of us cried out in shock. This argument remains the most heart-breaking argument proffered by any person anywhere in the world for an egregious constitutional breach. One of the most important duties of a government is to improve the welfare of the citizens, including the poor, rather than do that, Fashola is not only trampling of the rights of the poor, but committing mass-murder. Some of these people will die off out of frustration.
After listening for a while, and sensing that Nigerians have forgotten. Fashola then embarked on a new wave. This time just like in the first exercise, he looks at people faces, and decided that they are likely from Anambah State, and deported all of them.
Even if one grudgingly listen to Fashola’s belated argument of “Welfare,” what type of welfare is he providing by forcefully deporting them from a place they call home. Fashola is eager to welcome the rich who swell the huge purse of his godfather with monies taken through taxes, levies and penalties for unlawfully confiscated goods, yet he cannot even use a small percentage of the fund to provide basic amenities for the poor. The quick-fix is deportation.
THE WRONGFUL ACT OF FASHOLA IS NOT DEPORTATION BUT KIDNAPPING
Simple definitions with very little explanation:
The expulsion of an undesirable alien from a country! Therefore, to be deported, one has to be expelled from another country where he is an alien. Never in the history of mankind has a man been deported from his own country! If there is genuine dispute as to the citizenship of the deported, the court ought to resolve it, not the executive. That is exactly why we have anti-aggrandizement principle.
The crime of unlawfully seizing and carrying away a person by force or Fraud, or seizing and detaining a person against his or her will with an intent to carry that person away at a later time. See http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/kidnapping
The situation even when viewed in a light most favorable to Babatunde Fashola, will still be kidnapping. The formulation of illegal deportation decrees in these type of cases presents problems of considerable complexity. Any public policy consideration of appropriate goal of freeing the state of destitute must necessarily be subordinated to the primary question -- the constitutionality of a dictatorial state governor trampling in a most egregious manner, on the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens. Such an act is a violation equal protection of the laws and the most basic right, fundamental human rights.
Obi Enweze was the Secretary General of NADECO –USA/Canada
CNPP cautions Obi over backlash
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday cleared the air on the controversies trailing the alleged forceful ejection of some Igbo from the state, saying only 14 destitutes were picked on the streets, ehabilitated and resettled back to their state.
Governor Fashola thus distanced the state’s government from the claim that those resettled were 67 or 72.
Fashola who also disclosed that he just ordered the rehabilitation of a mad woman who was allegedly impregnated by unknown person in Oshodi, said the state’s government’s care for its residents had no ethnic or political colouration.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State chapter of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has urged Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State not to allow the controversy cause rancour between Igbo and Yoruba in Lagos.
In a statement signed by the state’s chairman of CNPP, Hon Akinola Obadia, the group said that the issue should not be allowed to cause disaffection among the Igbo people living in the state with their Yoruba neighbours.
The CNPP also warned against tribalising the alleged deportation issue. The statement reads in part: “We in the CNPP have gone extra mile to find out the fact from government source on the issue of the return of destitutes in the state to their states of origin.
We decided to make a clean breast of the matter against the disinformation and rumour some people are making.”
Speaking during a visit of Aka Ikenga, Igbo community in Lagos to his office in Alausa, Ikeja, Fashola said what happened was indeed minor issue that had been exaggerated to score cheap political gain.
Explaining the genesis of the controversy, Fashola recalled that there was correspondence between the Lagos State Government and the Anambra State liaison in Lagos.
Governor Fashola explained that his Anambra State counterpart could not claim ignorance of the whole matter.
You were a reference point, some even compare you with Cassius Longinus- philosopher and rhetorician, described as a "a living library and a walking museum".
You define style, you were a syllabus other states study, your simplicity, style of governance, traffic management, road management, environment, water transportation, housing, metro rail line project, education, health, public service were areas other states in Nigeria tried copying.
With your Better Re-assuring Future to Before Retiring Finally in 2015, is Lagos State still working? Your 1st term was an endless footprints on the sands of Lagos State history You break barriers, you were honored locally and internationally, as the world stand aside to let BRF passes , because you knows where you were going.
In your second term, it seems Lagos all these giant strides has virtually left to be wallowed. Through political bickering and manoeuvrings, your erstwhile deputy governor was replaced, and possibly you could not worked with the present one.
BRF, Lagosians are still dumfounded! Eko tin baje o! [Lagos is no longer working}. The Atlantic City, Lekki Free Trade Zone, are indeed an endless footprints of yours on the sand of Lagos State. The street sign posts in some areas has been abandoned. Most people were actually swayed to ACN because of your attributes and accomplishments.
Your second term is indeed not as vibrant as the first term, the political bickering and manoeuvrings that is already playing itself out in Lagos State to some, may be the reason why you have soft pedaled on consolidating on your unrivaled accomplishments. You are not serving any semi-god or godfather, but your service is to Lagosians by leaving an endurable, unrivaled, undeniable endless footprints of BRF on the sand of Lagos State now Before Retiring Finally!
You surrounded yourself with intellectuals, you established yourself in the minds of Lagosians as a master of initiatives, your voice is strong and harmonious, your manly understanding is strengthened and adorned with study.
And for those who have tied down your advancement, remind them; it was just as certain Indian wise man had observed: "O King Alexander, each man possess just so much of the earth as this one which we stand; and you being a man like other man, save that you are full of activity and relentless are roaming over, all the earth far from your home, troubling yourself, and troubling others. But not so long hence you will die, and will posses just so much of the earth as suffices for your burial."
BRF, Before Finally Retiring, Is Lagos State still working? Eko tin baje o!
My hopes for 2015: BRF/Tambuwal Ticket!
Cells:+234  701-224-8573.
+234  816-950-3218.
"The bulldozers arrived there on Feb. 23, a Saturday morning, along with the police. They tore down the homes quickly, leaving most people to sleep outside afterward. Days later, they were crowded into a community hall, an open-air room covered by a thin tin roof. Others slept in a nearby church, their possessions gathered on top of benches under the watchful eyes of pictures of Jesus Christ near the altar. A spokesman for Lagos state government did not respond to requests for comment about the demolition.
The bulldozers came at dawn to this neighborhood of shanty homes and concrete buildings in Nigeria's largest city, followed by riot police carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles. The police banged on doors, corralling the thousands who live in Ijora-Badia off to the side as the bulldozers' blades tore through scrap-lumber walls, their tracks grinding the possessions inside into the black murk of swamp underneath. Days later, children picked through the field of debris, their small hands dodging rusty nails to pull away anything of value left behind.
The demolition of this slum neighborhood follows others in Lagos, a city of some 17.5 million inhabitants where a dozen can sleep in a single room and more flock to every day from the countryside. While the city continues to grow, the government has started programs to improve roads and railways, but target poor neighborhoods for demolition and street traders for arrest." - Associate Press
Kim Kardashian, United States TV reality star arrived in Lagos to host a concert with Darey Art, a Nigerian soul singer. On February 17, the ‘Love Like a Movie’ concert was held at Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island
Kim at Lagos Airport
Kim Kardashian with Nigeria's R&B singer Darey Art
Photos: Ade Plumptre and Victor Ekezie
The ship, MV Marivia, arrested at the Tin-Can Island Port in Lagos on Wednesday with two containers of e-waste is still being detained, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
An official of the Tin-Can Island Container Terminal, who preferred anonymity, told NAN on Saturday that the ship is still there and has not sailed out’. The source said that the ship had finished discharging other goods and was closely being guarded by security men.
The two offensive containers were laden with used electronics, including television sets, computers, central processing units (CPU), digital video recorders, microwaves, pressing irons and stereo sets. The 23,652 tonnage container ship which berthed on Wednesday arrived from Tilbury in London.
The authorities of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), NESREA and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) detained the vessel. The numbers of the two containers are: ECMU 9894510 and ECMU 9870858.
On Friday, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, the Minister of Environment, told reporters in Abuja that the owners of the vessel had been fined one million dollars to serve as a deterrent. Mailafia said that the culprits involved in the intercepted vessel would face life imprisonment if convicted. Earlier, Dr Ngeri Benebo, the Director-General of National Environment Standards Regulatory Agency (NESREA), had told NAN that the containers would be sent back to the port of origin.
Benebo said the repatriation of the containers were in conformity with the provisions of the Harmful Wastes Act. "We are sending the e-wastes back to the port of origin,’’ the director-general said. She said that the agency’s action was guided by the provisions of the laws of Nigeria and warned that
"Nigeria would resist any attempt by any country to make the country a dumping ground.” The director-general said the suspected importers of the cargo were traced to Umezime Street, Alaba International Market, and arrested.
Meanwhile, a maritime expert, who did not want his name mentioned, said the security around the ship was expected. According to the expert, the security agencies will strive to avoid a repeat of the escape of the illegal bunkering ship MT African Pride from Nigerian waters in August 2004. NAN reports that this is not the first attempt to dump toxic wastes in Nigeria.
The first time was in 1988 when a shipment of over 3,500 tonnes of toxic wastes from Italy was dumped in Koko Port in Delta. In April 2010, the NCS arrested and detained a Maersk Line vessel, MV Nashiville, laden with toxic waste (lead batteries classified as Basel code A1180 and broken televisions. In June 2010, NCS also arrested and detained a ship, MV Gumel, in Lagos Port for bringing eight containers with materials suspected to be toxic waste. Also a vessel, MV Vera D, carrying three containers laden with toxic black and white television sets, was detained at the Tin-Can Port, Lagos, in October 2010.
The toxic-laden containers were sent back to the port of origin in the U.S. In December 2012, NESREA impounded four containers of used electronics described as `e-wastes’ in Apapa port.
The Nigeria Customs Service on Friday arrested a Hong Kong-bound passenger at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, with 767 500 dollars.
The Customs Command at the airport said the passenger was arrested while boarding Emirates flight number EK782 to Hong Kong.
The Public Relations Officer of the Customs Service at the airport, Thelma Williams, said although the passenger declared the amount on the prescribed forms CDF1A and CDF1B, he could not explain satisfactorily the source of the money.
Williams said upon investigation, the suspect was observed to be a frequent traveller. “Upon investigation, the passenger was noted as a frequent traveller with the currency.
"He travelled between 27 April and 15 September 2012 with 1.3 million dollars, which he took to Hong Kong.
“Also on 3 November 2012, the suspect travelled with 10 000 dollars to China and the present case of 10 Januarie when he was caught trying to smuggle out 767 500 dollars to Hong Kong,” Williams said.
She said the passenger and the amount had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for further investigation.