Anger as Navy demolishes houses in Lagos

The Nigerian navy has been evicting thousands of people from the small islands they live on around Lagos over the past month. They say it is because they harbour criminals.

As a result, many people are now homeless and living on beaches in the open air.

The latest evictions took place just a few days ago at Tarkwa Bay,which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, a community of about 5,000 residents.

Journalist Sam Olukoya told BBC Focus on Africa radio that he saw personal belongings, including mattresses, clothes and shoes, scattered across nearby beaches.

He says one resident recalled how more than 100 armed officers arrived and started shooting and breaking down doors. Many residents were unable to take anything with them.

In less than a month the navy has evicted thousands of people as part of an operation it said was aimed at stopping the looting of nearby oil pipelines.

Naval Command Real Admiral Oladele Daji said the navy was taking over the area to restore security.

“After the phase where we are now, we are entering the stabilisation phase and that is to ensure sustenance of adequate presence both at the waterfront and also on the island so that it will make it difficult for these criminal elements to gain a foothold.”

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