Recently, there have been reports of widespread government demolition of so-called ‘illegal’ structures erected by some innocent Nigerian citizens in error.

We face a paradox: with a 70 million housing deficit and vast unmet housing needs nationwide, some resort to the self-help of building structures that serve as homes, businesses, SMEs offices, and stores. Invariably, some of these structures were either not approved or were built with the tacit collusion or approval of the local authorities.

While some of these ongoing demolitions may be excusable, they have nonetheless, left many victims, mostly ordinary people who erred innocently or were ill-informed or misguided. Necessary corrective measures to planning or zoning violations by governments, need not be punitive or unduly insensitive. There should always be room for compassion and humane correction in taking any remedial action. I respectfully appeal to various governmental authorities to marry the need to enforce compliance with extant regulatory regimes, with consideration for human feelings and necessary compassion. In Nigeria, we live in a time of extreme difficulties for citizens because of stagnated income, spiraling inflation, huge unemployment escalating socio-economic costs, and high costs of living.

Nigerian citizens should, therefore, not be subjected to the additional stress of unexpected hardship. Moreover, the various concerned governments should consider paying compensation to those who have lost properties and livelihood in these unfortunate demolitions to ameliorate their suffering. Such compensation should fall under the rubric of eminent domain that applies to properties and assets acquired or demolished in the public interest.

It cannot ever be overemphasized that the primary duty of any government is the responsibility to care for and protect her citizens.

PeterObi 🇳🇬

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

One thought on “PETER OBI ON DEMOLITION.”
  1. If Peter Obi were to be doing the demolition, he would provide alternative to ease the suffering of victims. We shouldn’t mistake this as bringing down any and every structures of hapless Nigerians and increasing their suffering

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