Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 election, has spoken against the demolition of houses in Lagos and other states.
Obi urged governments at all levels to show compassion and not multiply the pain of the poor.
The former Anambra state governor, in a statement posted on X on Thursday, appealed to state governments and the Federal Government to put a human face to governance as Nigerians are facing myriad economic challenges already.
For weeks, demolition of buildings resumed in Lagos with the state government and the Federal Housing Authority pulling down structures in Ikota, Lekki, Alaba, Ajao Estate, Abule Ado, Ladipo Market, and other areas of the state.
The buildings demolished were said to have contravened the master plan of the city and built on drainage channels, with the exercise making hundreds of families homeless.
Reacting to the development, Obi said the exercise heaped extra hardship on Nigerians who are already battling with multi-dimensional poverty.
“What a responsive government should be doing under the current harsh economic conditions in the country is to come up with measures aimed at alleviating the people’s hardships and to carry out measures that will take more people out of poverty,” he said.
“Even if there are some violations as the governments are claiming, this critical time is not auspicious for such an exercise knowing the hardship in the land and the consequences it will have on the poor who are struggling to make ends meet with their little resources.
“The poor in our midst who are putting their meager resources are going through very severe financial stress that should not be multiplied further. In some cases, the properties being demolished are the lifetime savings and retirement abodes of the aged and incapacitated.
“My appeal therefore is for the respective governments involved in this act to consider the hardship in the country and try and put a human face to their actions. While we should enforce sensible regulations, all actions of government must show compassion.”