Prioritise compassion in building demolitions, Obi begs State Govs
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, has appealed to various governments across the country to show compassion while carrying out demolition on some properties marked as illegal.
He said this in a Twitter post on Tuesday while reacting to the recent widespread government demolition of “illegal” structures erected by individuals in various states.
Obi said that “while some of these ongoing demolitions may be excusable, they have nonetheless, left many victims, mostly ordinary people who erred innocently or were ill-informed or misguided.
He said that necessary corrective measures to planning or zoning violations by governments need not be punitive or unduly insensitive, adding that “there should always be room for compassion and humane correction in taking any remedial action.”
Commenting further, the former Anambra State governor wrote, “I respectfully appeal to various governmental authorities to marry the need to enforce compliance with extant regulatory regimes, with consideration for human feelings and necessary compassion.
“In Nigeria, we live in a time of extreme difficulties for citizens because of stagnated income, spiralling inflation, huge unemployment escalating socio-economic costs and high costs of living.
“Nigerian citizens should, therefore, not be subjected to the additional stress of unexpected hardship. Moreover, the various concerned governments should consider paying compensation to those who have lost properties and livelihoods in these unfortunate demolitions to ameliorate their suffering.
“Such compensation should fall under the rubric of eminent domain that is applicable for properties and assets acquired or demolished in the public interest.
He added that it cannot ever be overemphasized that the primary duty of any government is the responsibility to care for and protect its citizens