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Otodo Gbame 9 April 2017 Forced Eviction - JEI | by Justice & Empowerment Initiatives - Nigeria
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Otodo Gbame 9 April 2017 Forced Eviction - JEI

On 9 April 2017 the Lagos State Task Force invaded Otodo Gbame at around 5:30am shooting tear gas and bullets in the air to chase the remaining residents out. They came with 3 Task Force "black maria" (mobile detention units), about a half dozen Task Force trucks, and over 50 Police Officers.


With the main land entrance to the community blocked off by the Task Force, the evictees were forced into the Lagos Lagoon. Shortly thereafter, the Task Force began dousing structures with kerosene and lighting them on fire. Throughout the morning the Task Force, aided by the Marine Police, continually fired tear gas and bullets at the fleeing evictees, thousands of whom remained just outside the community in boats. At least two young men were shot: one in the neck who soon thereafter died, and one in the chest who the community rushed to the General Hospital.


By mid-day the evictees were all in canoes and other wooden boats on the Lagos Lagoon in two giant flotillas of hundreds of canoes and wooden boats each. Any attempt to approach the community or nearby land, resulted in a volley of tear gas and gun shot from the Task Force. Meanwhile the Task Force systematically doused structures with kerosene and lit them on fire. By mid-afternoon one caterpillar and one swamp buggy arrived in the community to demolish remaining structures on land and water. By early evening (around 5:30pm) the Task Force entered into canoes and began pursuing the evictees on water, shooting bullets and tear gas in the air. As the residents fled for their lives, 4 Marine Police boats stationed at Ikate began shooting bullets at the fleeing residents in boats. Countless residents spent the night in boats on the Lagos Lagoon.

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Taken on April 9, 2017