Tarkwa Bay Eviction: Who Is Responsible?
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Zainab Yekeen, a Nigeria Info Correspondent was at Tarkwa Bay area of Lagos state. She had brief interviews with people in the area regarding the recent evictions carried out in the area. Military men and some security officials prevented the people of the area from speaking to journalists.
Wemimo Adewuni plays a recording of the interview on the Morning Crossfire show. The respondents say that the eviction of Tarkwa Bay residents started with sporadic shooting and that was quickly followed by beatings. Some people were shot either in the hand or the legs.
The first responder, who identifies himself as Austin, says he believes the security outfits were carrying out the raid because of pipeline vandalization that often occurs. But as he said, the pipeline is far from Tarkwa Bay and it happens that the Lagos State government cannot help the people of the place. So, the people have to rely on Federal Government's help.
There are about three communities in Tarkwa Bay. The people living there got an eviction notice of just one hour. It was hard for the people to leave in a hurry because the area is an island, and quite a number of these residents had nowhere to go.
Mohammed Zanna, who sits in the 99.3 Nigeria Info FM Lagos studio with Wemimo says he was on his way to work when it all began. “I had already crossed to work in the morning. We had a court session and we were on our way to the court when I was called back home that some army officers were demolishing Tarkwa Bay. They said I should rush and come back, which I did.
“The whole jetty was filled up with women and children and everybody just…”
He affirms the one-hour notice. It was like the case of armed robbers shooting in the air and scaring everyone, they were shouting, throwing people’s properties out of buildings. They were telling everybody to leave.
But who are the people living at Tarkwa Bay? Hakeem Jimoh, a community leader in the area gives a brief history of Tarkwa Bay, saying the island is as old as Lagos. He said the place is filled with Nigerians who love to dwell by water. He also mentions that naval and army officers have never been cordial with one another, as far as the place is concerned.
Zanna says that Tarkwa Bay is always filled with security personnel, so how come oil vandalism keeps happening under their noses?
“There is no way you enter this place and not see at least three types of security outfits; so how could the ‘boys’ enter that session and do pipeline vandalization when the army, naval, and police are keeping watch there?”
Morning Crossfire: 8 - 9am Mondays to Fridays on 99.3 Nigeria Info FM