A video that surfaced on social media calling for the eviction of people at the bottom of the social ladder from Ikoyi, a commercial hub in Lagos with residential properties only the affluent members of the society can afford, has triggered a war of classes on the Internet.
According to the viral video, the affluent in Lagos chose Ikoyi because of its “serenity and security”, but the presence of those described as “street hustlers, squatters and unregistered taxis yelling out destinations… basically a scene you would usually find at overcroweded bustops, reminiscent of Ajegunle” has given residents the impression that they live at Ajegunle – a part of Lagos believed to be rough and dominated by the ‘Haves not’.
But Ikoyi was not originally occupied by the affluent. Before the colonial era, communities in Lagos had indigenous settlers. During the colonial era, parts of Lagos Island were developed as a residential cantonment for the expatriate British community.
Over the years, the emergence of Ikoyi as a commercial hub resulted in the influx of real estate developers who acquired land and built luxurious apartments for the upper class. The poor, who are unable to acquire those properties, move into shanties in the slums (also called ghettoes). They keep moving when real estate developers purchase the land the slums are built on.
While some social media users, responding to the #secureikoyi video, said it was an expression of the “hatred” the wealthy have for people at the bottom rung of the social ladder, others blame social media influencers for agreeing to promote contents without concern for social justice implications.
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