The administrator of the Nigerian Capital is presiding over destruction of thousands of homes in oder to return the planned city to its original purity, according to this Reuters dispatch in the Khaleej Times. "Disorder was creeping into the development of Abuja and it was becoming chaotic," Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, minister for the Federal Capital Territory, told the news agency. "You cannot develop land in Abuja, you cannot even plant a flower on land in the FCT without a development permit from the federal capital development authority. That's the law."
But residents don't buy el-Rufai's argument that the city plan demands demolition. "This place was our collective effort," said Ibrahim Haruna as he looked out on the rubble that used to be his community. "We didn't get any help from the government but we built our own community. What have we done to deserve this."
As is often the case, the communities that bit the dust were not shantytowns and the residents of the demolished neighborhoods were squatters only in a technical sense. They had purchased their parcels and built homes with brick and concrete. But they never had planning approval, so, in that way, they are unauthorized residents.
And in Lagos, police descended at 4 am to evict thousands of tenants from their apartments because the government plans to privatize the buildings.