Contributions to the debate on Forced Eviction in Lagos State

Paper Presented by Kunle Oladejo,Director-General,International Centre for Grassroots Research and Development Initiative,InterCEGRADI,Economic and Political Risks Analyst in Collaboration with Comrade Barrister Musa Lawal, Secretary-General, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC
>Attention first and foremost captured by abject poverty and inequality-increasing gap between the rich and poor
> Extent of poverty in Nigeria since 1999: About 70% of Nigerians were reported by the “National Concord” of September 7, 1999 to be poor and that the number living below poverty line increased from 17.7 million to 67.1 million by 59.4 million between 1980 and 1996.Now the number of the poor is estimated to be more than 100 million people who cannot afford $1 dollar a day, that is, about =N=300 daily!!!
>Gross under estimation of Nigerian population:by the end of this year,it would have been about 222 million-at the end of 2018,it was approximately 2015 million
> Unemployed graduates greater than or equal to 10 million jobless;ILO figure more than 10 years ago was 37.5 million for all the jobless;FG’s Bureau of Statistics, BOS, gave 35 million ten years ago; at a retreat by the National Assembly 10 years ago ,it was estimated to be 50 million ;by our estimation ,the jobless population is between 60 and 70 million
> According to OXFAM & UNO at the end of 2015 when Millennium Development Goals,MDGs were renamed Sustainable Development Goals,SDGs,the gap between the poor and rich is increasing and inequality is increasing in intensity. This is a manifestation of cyclical economic crisis globally or better still intrinsic or organic crisis of market economic fundamentalism or paradigm
> But what causes cyclical economic crisis, recession or stagflation and de-industrialisation or Long Depression as we have been having since the end of the Great Recession worldwide between the end of 2007 and 2009 till today? The answer is not far –fetched .I am not convinced by social democrats who rely on KEYNESIAN MODEL OR SCHOOL of mainstream economics as a phase of capitalism or neo-liberalism which started in 1976 or 10 years after imposition as SAP,structural adjustment programme in Nigeria by General Babangida in1986 leading to serious de-industrialization in all sectors of the economy
> E vents in the world economy confirm the profundity of the predictions by Karl Marx and Engels more than 170 years ago more relevantly now.It could have been written yesterday!!!
> WHY ARE WE WHERE WE ARE: Nigeria’s Long Depression-Historical-materialist Perspective of the Crisis in Nigeria’s Neo-colonial Market Economy for the past 32 years?
> The premises of recession and skyrocketing inflation(STAGFLATION-stagnancy/de-industrialisation and inflation which did not start in 2016 in Nigeria is a concept developed by Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor Paul Samuelson, adviser to President J F Kennedy) are flimsy excuses by governments who have been implementing, since 1999, NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMIC POLICIES which are contrary to the 1999 Constitution (this is more than 90% of 1979 Constitution) in its chapter two entitled:’’ Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy’’- the IDEOLOGICAL/PHILOSOPHICAL foundation of that Supreme Law which its section 224 makes mandatory for political parties to have their manifestos and constitutions CONFORM TO.
> ON THE RIGHT TO SHELTER OR SOCIAL HOUSING encapsulated in chapter two and African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights,ACHPR,part of Nigerian Laws by virtue of its Enfocement Act,CAP 10,1990,by now after 3 and a half years,we should have had about 2 million low cost housing units were the social democratic reforms in the manifesto of the ruling party not abandoned for neo-liberal or market economic paradigm which General Buhari promised Tony Blair at Chatam House and Barack Obama when he was invited less than two weeks after he was sworn in.Between 1966 and 1986,SOCIAL HOUSING was in vogue with Gowon Housing Estates; interestingly in line with Chapter Two of 1979 Constitution,Late President Shagari who never budgeted more than =N=50 billion naira, built housing estates on owner-occupier basis –Former Governor Jakande of Lagos State never budgeted more than =N=1billion in total for 4 years, built Housing Estates for grassroots masses.But what we now see in Lagos is land speculation ,land grabbing and forced eviction during which the owners of the land were either injured or killed and their property were given to powerful individuals for private development .Most of these evictions were done in the night by wicked Lagos government in violent violation of their rights including right to life -an example is death of TRIPLETS WHOSE MOTHER SPONTANEOUS GAVE BIRTH TO THEM WHEN SHE WAS BEING EVICTED,BUT WHEN THEY DIED IN QUICK SUCCESSION,SHE RAN MAD,That is as a result of this intrinsic or organic crisis of MARKET SYSTEM predicted more than 170 years ago!
>Since the era of SAP and since 1999 in the richest state,Lagos there has not been SOCIAL HOUSING!!!
> Let us recall what NEO-LIBERALISM alias SAP did to the other sectors of the economy: General Babangida took power in 1985 and imposed the neo-liberal agenda foisted on Nigeria by IMPERIALIST-,IMF,WORLD BANK AND WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION,WTO which was then GATT, General Agreement on Trade and Tariff, GATT starting with deregulation, liberalisation of trade, devaluation of the Naira ,privatization or sale of public assets and companies in 1986.Hence , DE-INDUSTRIALISATION began ,for example ,the textile industry lost more than 500,000 workers to STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM, SAP, a neo-liberal paradigm from 1986 till the present time( ten years after IMF & WORLD BANK started NEO-LIBERAL GLOBALISATION in 1976 which they are now hypocritically denouncing as the root cause of the present LONG DEPRESSION IN WORLD ECONOMY which started in 2009 after the GREAT RECESSION,2008-2009 which was not-and could not have been as serious and deep as a DEPRESSION).OUR OWN LONG DEPRESSION started about 32 years ago in 1986.It only became more serious and much deeper with this RECESSION &INFLATION which, borrowing from Professor Paul Samuelson, we call RECESSFLATION .
> We used to have six (6) automobile plants. If a youth was told that as at 1985 when General Babangida took over from PMB, a Peugeot 504 from Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria, PAN, Kaduna was less than =N=5,000 Naira and a VOLSWAGEN BEETLE,the cheapest car, from the automobile plant along Lagos-Badagry Expressway was less than =N=3,000 Naira, the young person would not believe this and that 4 other automobile plants at ENUGU,ANAMCO ,was for Mercedes luxurious buses ,LEYLAND at Ibadan was for LANDROVER & RANGEROVER and two trucks assembly plants were in BAUCHI & KANO.NIGERIA was on INDEPENDENT PATH OF RAPID ECONOMIC/INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT until SAP destroyed it with NEO-LIBERAL FUNDAMENTALISM OR PARADIGM on which Late Prof Sam Aluko always opposed Late Prof Ojetunji Aboyade,a supporter of SAP and Special Adviser to General Babangida under whose and Prof Pat Utomi’s watch as Chairperson and Managing Director respectively, VOLKSWAGEN OF NIGERIA died.
Definition by the UNO HABITAT
Forced eviction is “the permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection” (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, general comment No. 7 (1997) on the right to adequate housing: forced evictions).
 Various elements, separately or combined, define a forced eviction:
– A permanent or temporary removal from housing, land or both;
– The removal is carried out against the will of the occupants, with or without the use of force;
– It can be carried out without the provision of proper alternative housing and relocation, adequate compensation and/or access to productive land, when appropriate;
– It is carried out without the possibility of challenging either the decision or the process of eviction, without due process and disregarding the State’s national and international obligations.
 World Capitalism collapsed between 2007 and 2009 and was taken to the CASUALITY WARD .It went into COMA in 2009 and has been taken to the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT for more treatment. This explains the LONG DEPRESSION since 2009 engendered by the ORGANIC CRISIS OF CAPITALIST SYSTEM .Every sector of the world is grappling with crises which are manifestations caused by the organic crisis of capitalism at all levels: on the economic plane and its reflection on the political plane. Karl Marx made us to understand some laws in scientific socialism which he discovered more than 150 years ago in collaboration with his co-thinker, Freidrich Engels (Lenin and Trotsky, Co-leaders of the Russian REVOLUTION which began 100 years ago in February, 1917 during the first world war, THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION WHICH LED TO THE FIRST HEALTHY WORKERS DEMOCRACY/WORKERS STATE UNDER LENIN AS THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE SOVIET UNION, added another law to the ones discovered by Karl Marx).
 Crisis generated by forced evictions is just one of the crises or manifestations of the organic crisis of the capitalist system. Therefore, a holistic approach is adopted in interrogating factors responsible.
 What are these laws? 150 years ago, Karl Marx formulated the following laws: 1. LAWS OF CYCLICAL ECONOMIC CRISIS which used to have a cycle of 10 years, but now has a cycle of 5,6,7,or 8 years and never up to 10 years again.
 THE GREAT RECESSION OF 2008-2009 CAN NOW BE EXPLAINED BY THE SECOND LAW. 2. LAW OF THE TENDENCY FOR THE RATE OF PROFIT TO FALL as the GREAT RECESSION and the LONG DEPRESSION which followed it can only be explained by the second law, THE LAW OF PROFITABILITY, according to a London Professor, Comrade Michael Roberts, a British Professor of Mathematical Economics, Marxist Economic Theory and Political Economy, who authored books entitled: ’THE GREAT RECESSION’’ and ‘’LONG DEPRESSION’’.
 3. The third law, LAW OF COMBINED AND UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, was propounded by Lenin and Trotsky to explain the highest stage of capitalism which they called IMPERIALISM. It was also applied to explain why revolution could take place in backward countries before advanced countries contrary to what Marx and Engels predicted.4.LAWS OF DIALECTICS form the set of LAWS which explain that SOCIAL REVOLUTION is possible. They are :a.Everything changes and in perpetual motion;b.Law of Unity and struggle of opposites;c.Law of THESIS,ANTI-THESIS AND SYNTHESIS;d.Law of quantitative change transforming to qualitative change,etc.
 The 1979/1999 CONSTITUTION in Chapter Two and laws enacted by the Federal Government encapsulate ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (ECOSOC Rights).’’FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY’’ also envisage SYSTEM CHANGE to a new SOCIAL ORDER
 The constitution furthermore makes it mandatory for political parties to be registered under section 224 to have their manifestos conform to the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy which led Comrade Femi Aborisade, a lawyer, legal adviser to TUC and Marxist to deliver this lecture: Presentation at the ACN Induction/Training For National Assembly Members-Elect Held on 26th May, 2011 at Osogbo
 I hereby quote him.‘’The topic, “Budgeting for maximum social advantage” shows a concern to make the welfare of the people the primary essence of governance. It is a revolutionary topic because on an international scale today, the norm is to use state power against the interest of the common people. The agenda of the so called international community, the IMF/World Bank is to compel governments, internationally, and particularly, in the so called ‘developing’ countries to protect the greed of the rich at the expense of the need of the poor.’’
 ‘’It is therefore important to appreciate and understand the economic history of how we arrive at this unprecedented stage – the neoliberal economic phase – in which wholesale protection of private capital without any pretence for the outright neglect of the need of ordinary people has become the creed of governance, not only in Nigeria, but internationally’’
 We ,as AAC have, in addition to our slogan of take it back include REVOLUTION NOW AS AN IDEOLOGICAL WAR AGAINST PARTIES OF THE RULING CLASS,APC,APGA,PDP,E.T.C!!! THANK YOU