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Navy evicts residents from Tarkwa Bay

A lady waits for a boat to evacuate household wares following the forceful eviction. PHOTO: AFP<br />

The Nigerian navy personnel shot in the air yesterday as they sought to clear a waterfront community of 10,000 people in the latest mass-eviction in Lagos State.

Bulldozers rumbled into Tarkwa Bay, a semi-rural area on an island in the city, as part of an operation the military says is aimed officially at stopping the looting of nearby oil pipelines.

“Soldiers have been in and out since the morning, shooting, and telling us to pack, pack, pack. They gave us one hour,” mother-of-four Minda told AFP.

“Nobody to help us carry, no cars. I have nowhere else to go to.”

Residents shouted that they were being “scattered” by the security forces as they loaded boats with household items, diesel generators, and business wares before making the journey to other parts of the city.

Tarkwa Bay, which is accessible only by water, is one of the rare areas left largely undeveloped despite the breakneck pace of construction in one of Africa’s most populous cities.

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