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Otodo-Gbame demolition claims one, five others wounded

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Lagos State Task Force

A middle-aged man was reportedly shot dead yesterday and another struggling to survive from bullet wounds sustained during a violent clash between the Lagos State Task Force and residents of Otodo-Gbame, a waterfront community in the Lekki area of the state, over resumed demolition of the community.

The Guardian learnt that five other people shot during the incident are receiving treatment at the Lagos Island General Hospital, while body of the deceased has been deposited at the hospital’s morgue.

According to an eyewitness, policemen returned to Otodo-Gbame en masse yesterday, firing tear gas and chasing people into boats. He said the incident witnessed ruthless land grabbing as residents scampered for their lives.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Steve Ayorinde, said the reported death of a resident happened on Saturday as a result of clashes between the Yorubas and Egun people, who have been having constant clashes in the area.

He denied the claim that the task force was responsible for the death, as clearing of the waterways started yesterday morning. The commissioner also denied any demolition, as there was no standing structure in the area.

According to him, the state government has no special interest in Otodo-Gbame people but is only interested in the safety of Lagosians, who are suffering from the activities of hoodlums that used the waterways and shanties as escape routes.

There was a public outcry on social media yesterday over the latest demolition, which began as early as 6:00a.m. with the setting ablaze of many houses in the community.

On Twitter, #OtodoGbame was on the top trending topics throughout yesterday. Amnesty International Nigeria via its tweeter handle @AmnestyNigeria, said: “After defying court order and using brutal force and thugs several times at #OtodoGbame, now the world watches bloody use of force again.

Japhet Omojuwa, condemning the action, tweeted @Omojuwa: “Every Lagosian should be treated with dignity, whether rich or poor. Let’s eradicate poverty, not poor people.”



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