A new report has laid bare the shocking level of violence and corruption that exists in Nigeria’s highly developed Lagos. The report by Global Witness, an environmental watchdog organization, catalogs how most of the Nigerians involved in the construction of the Lekki Eastern Flyway — a major toll gate built by Shell and Dangote Group — were hired by state-owned agencies at unprecedented rates. The toll station located at what is often called the greatest tragedy on earth after the 2010 oil spill in the Niger Delta — the localised flooding of the environment due to oil pollution — attracts around 1.5 million vehicles daily. The result has been a lack of funds available for the ecosystem of that size. It has been worse for the people of Lagos and other areas that connect to the Delta waters, many of whom have been affected by pollution caused by the industrial hub outside, which has been flooding for a number of years now.
Nigeria’s Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who is currently suffering a landslide election defeat in Ekiti State, has taken to Twitter to call for peace in Lagos and prompt a pledge to unite the residents. He tweeted: “I implore all residents to maintain peace in our State.”
The State Government is holding a meeting with community leaders today to discuss the report.
The magnitude of corruption and corrupt practices in this region is staggering. The Nigeria government has been negligent in dealing with the issues of environmental destruction that results from reckless industrial growth in a city that has transformed from a colonial slave slave haven into a modern rising world city. The emphasis on infrastructure over people must change and we need the majority of Nigerians to help lead this change. It’s time to wake up and take heed.
Read the full story at The Guardian
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