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Tuesday, 24 July 2012


HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the wave of demolition of houses of poor Nigerians going on in Makoko, Lagos State, waterfronts in Port Harcourt, River State and parts of Abuja in the Federal capital Territory and appealed to President Good luck Jonathan and the Governors of Lagos and River State to show compassion to the plight of the hundreds -of- thousands of the poor who would be made homeless should the ill-conceived demolitions proceed without resettlement plans.
Besides, President Jonathan was particularly tasked to stop the proposed imposition of property tax in Abuja by the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory as passed by the Senate of the Federal Republic because of the misery that the obnoxious policy will inflict on tenants already suffering the existential impact of exorbitant rent regime. Government it stated exists to protect the interest of the people who are the owners of the nation's sovereignty, HURIWA stressed.
In a statement jointly endorsed by the National coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGTHS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) charged the Governors of Lagos and Rivers states and the authority at the Federal Capital Administration to find more humane and constructive way of re-locating the residents of the places designated for demolition so as not to inflict a horrendous regime of social dislocation and compound the poverty-stricken situation of these citizens who by-and-large were the same electorate who gave the current office holders their democratic mandate.
HURIWA said it was sad that most state governments and the ministry of the Federal Capital Territory only embark on demolition of structures that serve as shelter for the poorest of the poor only to end up allocating such landed property to themselves, their cronies and/or criminal land speculators.
Reminding Nigeria’s government officials that they are obliged by chapter two of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) to provide affordable housing for the poor as a fundamental human right, the Rights group predicted that the gale of demolition of poor peoples’ Houses could precipitate unprecedented violent crime.
HURIWA stated: “Thousands of poor Nigerians are fast losing faith with democracy because the brand that is practiced in Nigeria has only inflicted pain and economic misery beginning with the obnoxious withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products, imposition of different levies, taxation that end up in pockets of those in the corridors of power and now to cap it up with massive demolition of Houses of poor Nigerians without proper resettlement and compensation”.
“We hereby condemn this systematic regime of consistent impoverishment of the masses by a government that has done nothing but impose extremely difficult electricity tariff without electricity power, embark on demolition without concrete plans for mass low cost housing schemes and also privatized vital public services like the power Holden Company of Nigeria to an unknown Canadian firm that has thrown thousands of Nigerians out of job”.
HURIWA therefore cautioned government to slow down with the implementation of draconian and anti-people policies because of the adverse consequences that such toxic and unpopular policies can unleash on the larger society such as high crime and suicide rates.    

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