Tarkwa Bay residents have been left in tears, as Naval officers forcefully evicted them from their homes in Lagos.
On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, many were rendered homeless after Nigerian Navy officers invaded the waterfront community of Tarkwa Bay and sacked residents.
In the latest mass-eviction in the state, Tarkwa Bay which houses about 10,000 people, was said to have been sacked to address the spate of vandalism being experienced in the state.
AFP reports that the eviction is basically aimed at stopping the looting of nearby oil pipelines.
According to the Nigerian navy, the operation was aimed at protecting equipment belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from vandals.
“They build houses on pipelines and pump illegally,” Commander Thomas Otuji, a spokesman for the operation was quoted as saying. “All the people in the community aren’t vandals but if you don’t report it, you are part of it.”
During the eviction which stirred fear in the entire community, a mother of four who simply identified herself as Minda, said the occupants of the community had to leave in a rush.
“Soldiers have been in and out since the morning, shooting, and telling us to pack, pack, pack. They gave us one hour,” she said. “Nobody to help us carry, no cars. I have nowhere else to go to.”
The pipelines of Lagos
Tarkwa Bay is a waterfront community in Nigeria's economic hub of Lagos, which is only accessible by water.
Oil pipelines that supply Lagos with petroleum products run along beaches on the Atlantic coast in the area, which is largely undeveloped despite the city's tourism status.
Meanwhile, vandalism in the state has been a subject of discourse as a result of recent pipeline explosions.
On Sunday, January 19, 2020, a woman and her son were burnt to ashes as pipelines belonging to the NNPC at Ekoro Road, Ile-Epo, Abule -Egba area of Lagos, burst into flames
Recall that in December 2019, no less than two persons lost their lives in a pipeline explosion in Igando, Lagos.
The explosion which happened in the early hours of Thursday, December 5, 2019, affected Gloryland Estate, Isheri Olofin, and Diamond Estate along Isheri/Lasu-Igando road.
While commiserating with victims of the recent pipeline explosion in Lagos, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu promised that his administration will show zero mercy to vandals in the state.
Tarkwa Bay is the 24th community in the area that has received eviction orders as part of the broader operation by the navy, activists from the Nigerian Slum/Informal Settlement Federation said.