Prof Chris Imafidon’s home was in the shadow of Grenfell Towers so he experienced the events as they say ‘close to home’. A close friend of his died in the fire. He believes the total number of fatalities (rumours on the ground suggest about 500) is being suppressed explicitly to prevent rioting. However I would suggest that this wording as used by senior civil servants and confirmed by David Lammy MP is code for something more brutal. Prof Imafidon describes the response to the disaster as ‘inhuman’ and the proposed public enquiry as, from his experience of dealing with the people involved, lacking credibility as it is chaired by an aloof Judge, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, whose background has no affinity with the victims and who shows no evidence of empathy. (Note 1) Imafidon was asked to serve on the inquiry panel but refused saying ‘I can’t serve on an inquiry that’s over before it starts.’ This reminds one of Blair’s ‘Commission for Africa’. Several members subsequently told me of their experience. The Commission was heavily weighted with Africans but they were there to provide credibility not input. The report was drafted by an American before their first meeting and it was clear their input was not considered necessary or important. Prof Imafidon obviously feels his presence on the panel would only be to provide credibility while his views would be politely sidelined if not actively ignored. Meanwhile Prof Imafidon plays the role of spokesman for the voiceless tenants (Note 2). In his view the apparent lesson of Grenfell Towers is: “It’s a sin to be poor, that is what Grenfell Tower is telling us”, and there is in parts of Britain a ‘total contempt for everyone that is poor.’ He is prepared for a long struggle.
- Nigerian Watch article:
2. Prof Chris Imafidon interviews:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf33TiNn2ko (5 July 17)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUIiw-_lEXo ( 9 July 17)