GENEVA - Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians could be evicted from their homes with no place to go to if a government plan moves ahead, a UN human rights expert warned Thursday.
Raquel Rolnik, the UN’s specialist on housing, reported that in February the Nigerian River State government announced a decision to demolish all the waterfront settlements in the Port Harcourt area as part of an “urban renewal strategy”.
However, no alternative housing has been found for those already evicted, and there was little chance the people would not end up homeless or living in inadequate housing.
“Evictions should not result in individuals being rendered homeless or vulnerable to the violation of other human rights,” Rolnik said in a statement.
Moreover, the housing expert said she was concerned that protests against the evictions were being met with harsh force and arrests. It was also likely the military would take part in the demolitions.
“The military’s participation in forced evictions may result in multiple human rights violations,” Rolnik said.