Anguish, sorrow, tears as Lagos brutally evicts residents

Nicholas Ibekwe and Ben Ezeamalu

The atmosphere at Badia East, a slum community in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, on Thursday, September 24, the day of the 2015 Muslim Eid-el-Kabir festival, was anything but celebratory.

The community looked like it had been ravaged by hurricane. People wore long and sullen faces as they cuddled under whatever makeshift structure they could build from the rubble of their homes that were demolished a week before.

Stripped of their dignity and possessions, families gathered in small groups in the open looking dejected. A woman was taking her bath in the open, a piece of cloth tied to two sticks barely hiding her nakedness from the public. A young man, who probably hadn’t got much sleep for quite for a week, slept on a bench with corrugated iron sheet delicately placed over his head shielding him from the daylight. A few metres away, four kids were playing with rocks beneath what look like a recharge card kiosk. A woman who sat beside them said that was where they had been sleeping since their parents were forcefully evicted and their home demolished.