The United Nations has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari regime to put a halt to forced evictions in Nigeria.
The warning was given by Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing follows her 10-day visit to the country.
She noted that highly-placed and influential citizens were ejecting Nigerians from their homes at the expense of the poor citizens.
She also said informal settlements were “ballooning” and conditions in them were “inhumane”.
She said: “Successive Governments have allowed economic inequality in Nigeria to reach extreme levels, a fact that is clearly evident in the housing sector”, she said. “Meanwhile, newly built luxury dwellings are springing up throughout cities – made possible often through the forced eviction of poor communities.”
Ms. Farha insisted that these new dwellings “do not fulfil any housing need” since many remained vacant, “acting as vessels for money laundering or investment”.
Highlighting the fact that seven in 10 Nigerians in towns and cities now live in informal settlements, the Special Rapporteur said that most remain without access to running water and toilets – and they are in constant fear of being turned out of their homes.
Among her other findings, which are to be presented in full to the Human Rights Council in March 2020, Ms. Farha noted widespread discrimination of vulnerable minorities by landlords.
People with HIV/AIDS and members of the LGBT community were “particularly” at risk of eviction, Ms. Farha insisted, in an appeal to the authorities to address the problem. In addition, persons with disabilities were often held in punitive detention centres against their will, in “deplorable” conditions.