Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Press Article – Lagos Demolitions Emergency

Undefined

The following article is a direct press release and call to action from Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria; a Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation support NGO. The article documents the recent devastating demolition experience that destroyed the Otodo Gbame Community of Lagos, leaving over 30,000 homeless. 

10 November 2016

Lagos, Nigeria

PRESS RELEASE: OVER 30,000 HOMELESS AFTER POLICE USE DEMOLITION BY FIRE AND BULLDOZER WORKING IN DEAD OF NIGHT DESTROY OTODO GBAME COMMUNITY DESPITE SUBSISTING INJUNCTION

One month after the Governor of Lagos State went to the media announcing the Lagos State

Government’s intention to demolish “shanties” along waterfronts across the state – and just days

after the Lagos State High Court issued an injunction restraining the same – the Nigerian Police

Force and Lagos State Government have moved into Otodo Gbame community in full force.

In the early morning hours of 9 November 2016, a gang of boys with reported ties to the

powerful Elegushi Chieftaincy Family, entered Otodo Gbame community – a peaceful fishing

settlement on the edge of the Lagos Lagoon in Lekki Phase I, made up predominantly of Eguns

and other ethnic minorities in Lagos – and began setting fire to houses in the community.

When police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, according to eyewitness reports, they began

to lend assistance to the spreading of the fire. They shot into the community and chased away

persons bringing water to quench the fire. They helped to set more structures on fire. Four

persons – two women, one man, and one child – reportedly drowned as they rushed into water.

It was only when help from other Egun communities around Lagos Lagoon such as Makoko and

Oke Ira Nla arrived that residents began succeeding to put out the fire and police turned back.

By the time JEI arrived in the Otodo Gbame, about a third of the community – an estimated 800

structures – had been razed to the ground and fires were still smoldering across the community.

An estimated 10,000 people rendered homeless in a matter of hours tried to recover what

properties they could and dozens of people huddled in boats off the shore of the community.

At least 15 police vehicles were on ground and, around 1:30pm, the Commissioner of Police Fatai

Owoseni arrived on the scene in person for “inspection” and to order the community sealed.

Interviews with affected residents throughout the day confirmed the complicity of the police in

the spreading of the fire and loss of life in the early part of the day. They also indicate that police

are working in tandem with those that initiated the fire to serve private interests of Otodo

Gbame’s wealthier and more powerful neighbors. Residents pointed fingers at the Elegushi

Chieftaincy Family and to the neighboring International Children’s School.

On 7 November 2016 – just two days before – Hon Justice Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High

Court issues an injunction restraining the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State

Commissioner of Police from demolishing waterfront communities – including Otodo Gbame – or

evicting residents therefrom or otherwise giving effect to the 9 October 2016 eviction threat.

As evening fell in Otodo Gbame, tens of thousands of residents – some newly homeless and

some terrified but lucky to still have their homes – tried to get some rest after the wearying day.

JEI-trained paralegals had delivered a copy of the subsisting injunction to the local Ilasan

Divisional Police Station to ensure their awareness and pasted the order around the community.

Shortly after midnight on 10 November 2016, however, JEI received reports from numerous

residents of Otodo Gbame that a bulldozer with an escort of at least four police vehicles had

started working to destroy remaining homes. There has been no indication that our efforts to

notify the Nigerian Police Force at various levels – from Zone II Command to the Complaints

Response Unit (CRU) in the office of the Inspector General of Police – have stopped the

demolition ongoing with blatant impunity and disregard for life and wellbeing of citizens.

According to Edukpo Tina, a young woman in Otodo Gbame interviewed in the early morning of

10 November, “Police came again after midnight with caterpillar [bulldozer] and started breaking

everywhere, putting fire on peoples’ houses. They are seriously beating our people and

threatening to shoot unless we leave. All of us are on top of water now, there is nowhere to go.”

JEI-Nigeria strongly condemns the actions of the Nigerian Police Force and any branches of the

Lagos State Government or private parties at whose behest the NPF may be working. We decry

the extremely false and misleading press release issued by the Nigerian Police Force in the late

afternoon of 9 November 2016 that seeks to characterize the police’s actions as a “rescue,” while

announcing that the community in question will be taken over by the Lagos State Ministry of

Physical Planning and Urban Development and remaining structures will be demolished.

We note that there is absolutely no legal basis for eviction or taking over of land in the aftermath

of either security or fire incident. We further note there have been no statutory or paper notices

whatsoever served on any residents of Otodo Gbame. Rather, the police are acting completely

outside the scope of the law and in overt disregard for a subsisting order of court. We call on all

conscientious citizens concerned for democracy and rule of law to join in condemning this action.

JEI can be contacted directly for further information. Additional details can be found in this recent Reuters article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Press Article – Lagos Demolitions Emergency

Undefined

The following article is a direct press release and call to action from Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria; a Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation support NGO. The article documents the recent devastating demolition experience that destroyed the Otodo Gbame Community of Lagos, leaving over 30,000 homeless. 

10 November 2016

Lagos, Nigeria

PRESS RELEASE: OVER 30,000 HOMELESS AFTER POLICE USE DEMOLITION BY FIRE AND BULLDOZER WORKING IN DEAD OF NIGHT DESTROY OTODO GBAME COMMUNITY DESPITE SUBSISTING INJUNCTION

One month after the Governor of Lagos State went to the media announcing the Lagos State

Government’s intention to demolish “shanties” along waterfronts across the state – and just days

after the Lagos State High Court issued an injunction restraining the same – the Nigerian Police

Force and Lagos State Government have moved into Otodo Gbame community in full force.

In the early morning hours of 9 November 2016, a gang of boys with reported ties to the

powerful Elegushi Chieftaincy Family, entered Otodo Gbame community – a peaceful fishing

settlement on the edge of the Lagos Lagoon in Lekki Phase I, made up predominantly of Eguns

and other ethnic minorities in Lagos – and began setting fire to houses in the community.

When police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, according to eyewitness reports, they began

to lend assistance to the spreading of the fire. They shot into the community and chased away

persons bringing water to quench the fire. They helped to set more structures on fire. Four

persons – two women, one man, and one child – reportedly drowned as they rushed into water.

It was only when help from other Egun communities around Lagos Lagoon such as Makoko and

Oke Ira Nla arrived that residents began succeeding to put out the fire and police turned back.

By the time JEI arrived in the Otodo Gbame, about a third of the community – an estimated 800

structures – had been razed to the ground and fires were still smoldering across the community.

An estimated 10,000 people rendered homeless in a matter of hours tried to recover what

properties they could and dozens of people huddled in boats off the shore of the community.

At least 15 police vehicles were on ground and, around 1:30pm, the Commissioner of Police Fatai

Owoseni arrived on the scene in person for “inspection” and to order the community sealed.

Interviews with affected residents throughout the day confirmed the complicity of the police in

the spreading of the fire and loss of life in the early part of the day. They also indicate that police

are working in tandem with those that initiated the fire to serve private interests of Otodo

Gbame’s wealthier and more powerful neighbors. Residents pointed fingers at the Elegushi

Chieftaincy Family and to the neighboring International Children’s School.

On 7 November 2016 – just two days before – Hon Justice Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High

Court issues an injunction restraining the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State

Commissioner of Police from demolishing waterfront communities – including Otodo Gbame – or

evicting residents therefrom or otherwise giving effect to the 9 October 2016 eviction threat.

As evening fell in Otodo Gbame, tens of thousands of residents – some newly homeless and

some terrified but lucky to still have their homes – tried to get some rest after the wearying day.

JEI-trained paralegals had delivered a copy of the subsisting injunction to the local Ilasan

Divisional Police Station to ensure their awareness and pasted the order around the community.

Shortly after midnight on 10 November 2016, however, JEI received reports from numerous

residents of Otodo Gbame that a bulldozer with an escort of at least four police vehicles had

started working to destroy remaining homes. There has been no indication that our efforts to

notify the Nigerian Police Force at various levels – from Zone II Command to the Complaints

Response Unit (CRU) in the office of the Inspector General of Police – have stopped the

demolition ongoing with blatant impunity and disregard for life and wellbeing of citizens.

According to Edukpo Tina, a young woman in Otodo Gbame interviewed in the early morning of

10 November, “Police came again after midnight with caterpillar [bulldozer] and started breaking

everywhere, putting fire on peoples’ houses. They are seriously beating our people and

threatening to shoot unless we leave. All of us are on top of water now, there is nowhere to go.”

JEI-Nigeria strongly condemns the actions of the Nigerian Police Force and any branches of the

Lagos State Government or private parties at whose behest the NPF may be working. We decry

the extremely false and misleading press release issued by the Nigerian Police Force in the late

afternoon of 9 November 2016 that seeks to characterize the police’s actions as a “rescue,” while

announcing that the community in question will be taken over by the Lagos State Ministry of

Physical Planning and Urban Development and remaining structures will be demolished.

We note that there is absolutely no legal basis for eviction or taking over of land in the aftermath

of either security or fire incident. We further note there have been no statutory or paper notices

whatsoever served on any residents of Otodo Gbame. Rather, the police are acting completely

outside the scope of the law and in overt disregard for a subsisting order of court. We call on all

conscientious citizens concerned for democracy and rule of law to join in condemning this action.

JEI can be contacted directly for further information. Additional details can be found in this recent Reuters article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Press Article – Lagos Demolitions Emergency

Undefined

The following article is a direct press release and call to action from Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria; a Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation support NGO. The article documents the recent devastating demolition experience that destroyed the Otodo Gbame Community of Lagos, leaving over 30,000 homeless. 

10 November 2016

Lagos, Nigeria

PRESS RELEASE: OVER 30,000 HOMELESS AFTER POLICE USE DEMOLITION BY FIRE AND BULLDOZER WORKING IN DEAD OF NIGHT DESTROY OTODO GBAME COMMUNITY DESPITE SUBSISTING INJUNCTION

One month after the Governor of Lagos State went to the media announcing the Lagos State

Government’s intention to demolish “shanties” along waterfronts across the state – and just days

after the Lagos State High Court issued an injunction restraining the same – the Nigerian Police

Force and Lagos State Government have moved into Otodo Gbame community in full force.

In the early morning hours of 9 November 2016, a gang of boys with reported ties to the

powerful Elegushi Chieftaincy Family, entered Otodo Gbame community – a peaceful fishing

settlement on the edge of the Lagos Lagoon in Lekki Phase I, made up predominantly of Eguns

and other ethnic minorities in Lagos – and began setting fire to houses in the community.

When police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, according to eyewitness reports, they began

to lend assistance to the spreading of the fire. They shot into the community and chased away

persons bringing water to quench the fire. They helped to set more structures on fire. Four

persons – two women, one man, and one child – reportedly drowned as they rushed into water.

It was only when help from other Egun communities around Lagos Lagoon such as Makoko and

Oke Ira Nla arrived that residents began succeeding to put out the fire and police turned back.

By the time JEI arrived in the Otodo Gbame, about a third of the community – an estimated 800

structures – had been razed to the ground and fires were still smoldering across the community.

An estimated 10,000 people rendered homeless in a matter of hours tried to recover what

properties they could and dozens of people huddled in boats off the shore of the community.

At least 15 police vehicles were on ground and, around 1:30pm, the Commissioner of Police Fatai

Owoseni arrived on the scene in person for “inspection” and to order the community sealed.

Interviews with affected residents throughout the day confirmed the complicity of the police in

the spreading of the fire and loss of life in the early part of the day. They also indicate that police

are working in tandem with those that initiated the fire to serve private interests of Otodo

Gbame’s wealthier and more powerful neighbors. Residents pointed fingers at the Elegushi

Chieftaincy Family and to the neighboring International Children’s School.

On 7 November 2016 – just two days before – Hon Justice Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High

Court issues an injunction restraining the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State

Commissioner of Police from demolishing waterfront communities – including Otodo Gbame – or

evicting residents therefrom or otherwise giving effect to the 9 October 2016 eviction threat.

As evening fell in Otodo Gbame, tens of thousands of residents – some newly homeless and

some terrified but lucky to still have their homes – tried to get some rest after the wearying day.

JEI-trained paralegals had delivered a copy of the subsisting injunction to the local Ilasan

Divisional Police Station to ensure their awareness and pasted the order around the community.

Shortly after midnight on 10 November 2016, however, JEI received reports from numerous

residents of Otodo Gbame that a bulldozer with an escort of at least four police vehicles had

started working to destroy remaining homes. There has been no indication that our efforts to

notify the Nigerian Police Force at various levels – from Zone II Command to the Complaints

Response Unit (CRU) in the office of the Inspector General of Police – have stopped the

demolition ongoing with blatant impunity and disregard for life and wellbeing of citizens.

According to Edukpo Tina, a young woman in Otodo Gbame interviewed in the early morning of

10 November, “Police came again after midnight with caterpillar [bulldozer] and started breaking

everywhere, putting fire on peoples’ houses. They are seriously beating our people and

threatening to shoot unless we leave. All of us are on top of water now, there is nowhere to go.”

JEI-Nigeria strongly condemns the actions of the Nigerian Police Force and any branches of the

Lagos State Government or private parties at whose behest the NPF may be working. We decry

the extremely false and misleading press release issued by the Nigerian Police Force in the late

afternoon of 9 November 2016 that seeks to characterize the police’s actions as a “rescue,” while

announcing that the community in question will be taken over by the Lagos State Ministry of

Physical Planning and Urban Development and remaining structures will be demolished.

We note that there is absolutely no legal basis for eviction or taking over of land in the aftermath

of either security or fire incident. We further note there have been no statutory or paper notices

whatsoever served on any residents of Otodo Gbame. Rather, the police are acting completely

outside the scope of the law and in overt disregard for a subsisting order of court. We call on all

conscientious citizens concerned for democracy and rule of law to join in condemning this action.

JEI can be contacted directly for further information. Additional details can be found in this recent Reuters article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Press Article – Lagos Demolitions Emergency

Undefined

The following article is a direct press release and call to action from Justice & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) Nigeria; a Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation support NGO. The article documents the recent devastating demolition experience that destroyed the Otodo Gbame Community of Lagos, leaving over 30,000 homeless. 

10 November 2016

Lagos, Nigeria

PRESS RELEASE: OVER 30,000 HOMELESS AFTER POLICE USE DEMOLITION BY FIRE AND BULLDOZER WORKING IN DEAD OF NIGHT DESTROY OTODO GBAME COMMUNITY DESPITE SUBSISTING INJUNCTION

One month after the Governor of Lagos State went to the media announcing the Lagos State

Government’s intention to demolish “shanties” along waterfronts across the state – and just days

after the Lagos State High Court issued an injunction restraining the same – the Nigerian Police

Force and Lagos State Government have moved into Otodo Gbame community in full force.

In the early morning hours of 9 November 2016, a gang of boys with reported ties to the

powerful Elegushi Chieftaincy Family, entered Otodo Gbame community – a peaceful fishing

settlement on the edge of the Lagos Lagoon in Lekki Phase I, made up predominantly of Eguns

and other ethnic minorities in Lagos – and began setting fire to houses in the community.

When police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, according to eyewitness reports, they began

to lend assistance to the spreading of the fire. They shot into the community and chased away

persons bringing water to quench the fire. They helped to set more structures on fire. Four

persons – two women, one man, and one child – reportedly drowned as they rushed into water.

It was only when help from other Egun communities around Lagos Lagoon such as Makoko and

Oke Ira Nla arrived that residents began succeeding to put out the fire and police turned back.

By the time JEI arrived in the Otodo Gbame, about a third of the community – an estimated 800

structures – had been razed to the ground and fires were still smoldering across the community.

An estimated 10,000 people rendered homeless in a matter of hours tried to recover what

properties they could and dozens of people huddled in boats off the shore of the community.

At least 15 police vehicles were on ground and, around 1:30pm, the Commissioner of Police Fatai

Owoseni arrived on the scene in person for “inspection” and to order the community sealed.

Interviews with affected residents throughout the day confirmed the complicity of the police in

the spreading of the fire and loss of life in the early part of the day. They also indicate that police

are working in tandem with those that initiated the fire to serve private interests of Otodo

Gbame’s wealthier and more powerful neighbors. Residents pointed fingers at the Elegushi

Chieftaincy Family and to the neighboring International Children’s School.

On 7 November 2016 – just two days before – Hon Justice Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High

Court issues an injunction restraining the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State

Commissioner of Police from demolishing waterfront communities – including Otodo Gbame – or

evicting residents therefrom or otherwise giving effect to the 9 October 2016 eviction threat.

As evening fell in Otodo Gbame, tens of thousands of residents – some newly homeless and

some terrified but lucky to still have their homes – tried to get some rest after the wearying day.

JEI-trained paralegals had delivered a copy of the subsisting injunction to the local Ilasan

Divisional Police Station to ensure their awareness and pasted the order around the community.

Shortly after midnight on 10 November 2016, however, JEI received reports from numerous

residents of Otodo Gbame that a bulldozer with an escort of at least four police vehicles had

started working to destroy remaining homes. There has been no indication that our efforts to

notify the Nigerian Police Force at various levels – from Zone II Command to the Complaints

Response Unit (CRU) in the office of the Inspector General of Police – have stopped the

demolition ongoing with blatant impunity and disregard for life and wellbeing of citizens.

According to Edukpo Tina, a young woman in Otodo Gbame interviewed in the early morning of

10 November, “Police came again after midnight with caterpillar [bulldozer] and started breaking

everywhere, putting fire on peoples’ houses. They are seriously beating our people and

threatening to shoot unless we leave. All of us are on top of water now, there is nowhere to go.”

JEI-Nigeria strongly condemns the actions of the Nigerian Police Force and any branches of the

Lagos State Government or private parties at whose behest the NPF may be working. We decry

the extremely false and misleading press release issued by the Nigerian Police Force in the late

afternoon of 9 November 2016 that seeks to characterize the police’s actions as a “rescue,” while

announcing that the community in question will be taken over by the Lagos State Ministry of

Physical Planning and Urban Development and remaining structures will be demolished.

We note that there is absolutely no legal basis for eviction or taking over of land in the aftermath

of either security or fire incident. We further note there have been no statutory or paper notices

whatsoever served on any residents of Otodo Gbame. Rather, the police are acting completely

outside the scope of the law and in overt disregard for a subsisting order of court. We call on all

conscientious citizens concerned for democracy and rule of law to join in condemning this action.

JEI can be contacted directly for further information. Additional details can be found in this recent Reuters article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Urban mobility data analysis

Introducing a new member of King’s Geocomputation – Dr Chen Zhong! Chen joined King’s College London in September 2016 and her work on urban mobility directly contributes to the Geocomputation Research Domain. Here she provides a brief intro to her work.

“Space shapes transport as much as transport shapes space, which is a salient example of the reciprocity of transport and its geography.”

Rodrigue, Comtois et al. 2013

Quite often, I use this quote to explain the behind story of my research. And I keep on correcting people that I am working on urban mobility, not transportation. The former, to me, has a much broader meaning and is about people and their interactions with the built environment.

skytrain

Train in the sky, Singapore, 2013, source: Google

About Urban Mobility data

Most of my research explores the usage of automatically generated urban mobility data, such as smart-card data (my main source), mobile phone data and social media data. These types of data are generated by “citizens as sensors” as described by Goodchild (2007). People are carrying all kinds of sensors, such as mobile phones, smart wristbands and so on, all the time. The network formed by such sensors consists of the people themselves; therefore, it contains explicit spatial as well as implicit social information. These data sets offer us new potential to have a direct look into human behavior.

Compared to conventionally surveyed data, sensor data has a significant advantage in terms of granularity, coverage, efficiency and reliability. However, they are not perfect and often demographic information about the people carrying the sensors is absent. Nevertheless, these data sets still have a significant advantage for pattern detection and behavior analysis, thanks to its large sample size and less questionnaire bias. The challenge here is that data are collected with untapped purpose. We need be creative to make the best use of it and how. This challenge, as I see, is also the beauty of the “Big Data” concept.

Smart–card data

I would like to show a few examples from my previous research – big data informed urban planning – which is one of many potential uses of mobility data. The first is about investigating functional urban changes in Singapore. There, we used a set of urban indicators to identify human activity centres and boundary of urban regions. Changing structure of traffic flows over years proved the successful implementation of decentralization in Singapore. Moreover, the significantly growing emerging sub-centre reveals how rapid the urban development of Singapore has been. This is definitely unique among all developed countries. When we mapped out the redrawn regional boundaries (see image at top), even a non-analytical government officer immediately interpreted the graphics and presented us the impact of new development on people’s locations choices.

smart_singapore2013

One-north MRT station, Singapore, 2013

Note: Smart-card data is generated by automatic fare-collection systems. In London, it is Oyster card data. To find out more about smart-card data, and the above mentioned work, see my paper  on detecting the dynamics of urban structure through spatial network analysis.

Comparing Cities

It is always interesting to compare things. We compared three world cities, namely London, Singapore and Beijing. You may expect Singapore to be the one with the most regular travel patterns using public transportation. Beijing, however, has the highest regularity with respect to “when to travel” and is second with respect to “where to go”. The most important reason is the regular passenger control measure which is applied to about 40 stations where passengers are held outside the stations before being allowed to enter at regular time intervals during the morning peak. Such queues can last for miles. Passengers can either wait there, search or use an alternative station or mode according to their situation. Moreover, this inconsistency of regularity can also subscribe to another unique phenomenon in Beijing which is due to Vehicles Plate Number Traffic Restriction Measures where many private car owners drive a car on most days but for one day use public transport system. Though people in China sometimes complain about the inconvenience of such policy, it indeed helps reducing Carbon emissions and relieving road congestion. Read more about this in my paper entitled Variability in Regularity: Mining Temporal Mobility Patterns in London, Singapore and Beijing Using Smart-Card Data.

Outlook

Looking forward I have some ideas in mind and could easily list at least three directions:

  1. Comparative study of cities using urban mobility data (of course, not limited to smart-card data) is an option, and is already ongoing;
  2. Linking urban mobility patterns to urban health is another direction that could greatly widen the horizon of my research;
  3. Cross-checking detected patterns with multi-sources data could enhance and deepen previous findings.

If you are interested in any of these ideas or you want to chat about your great idea, please do not hesitate to contact me.  To read more, click here.

References

Goodchild, M. F. (2007). “Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography.” GeoJournal 69(4): 211-221.

Rodrigue, J.-P., et al. (2013). The geography of transport systems, Routledge.