Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ijebuman in lagos 4

My love affair with Lagos is over.
When we returned to naija in the 70s we lived in Kaduna, then my dad relocated to Lagos and we had to move down south. Kaduna was a great town back then and my sister and i were really sad about leaving. We arrived in Lagos and i completely forgot about Kaduna.
Everything about Lagos was fascinating, the bridges, ikorodu road, Victoria island, bar beach etc.

Fascination is not a word i will use in describing Lagos now.
Lagos is in a state of Anomie. The term is attributed to nineteenth century French pioneer sociologist, Émile Durkheim. Anomie is a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values. (i knew my degree in sociology will come handy someday...)

Durkheim believed that anomie is common when the surrounding society has undergone significant changes in its economic fortunes, whether for good or for worse and, more generally, when there is a significant discrepancy between the ideological theories and values commonly professed and what was actually achievable in everyday life.

Distinguished American sociologist, Robert King Merton also adopted the idea of anomie to develop Strain Theory, defining it as the discrepancy between common social goals and the legitimate means to attain those goals. In other words, an individual suffering from anomie would strive to attain the common goals of a specific society yet would not be able to reach these goals legitimately because of the structural limitations in society. As a result the individual would exhibit deviant behaviour.
from wiki

But enough of the sociological analysis. Here's the bottomline, Lagos sucks, it's like a car crash waiting to happen. The warning signs are there but no one cares.

The relationship Lagosians have with Lagos is like a woman in an abusive relationship, the type that justifies the partner's violence and remains in the relationship until the guy almost kills her.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Interesting. Its nice to have a theory that seems to match the reality: why people who go on and on about God often behave in particularly godless fashion. I like the structural/systemic approach of Strain theory.

Lagos is getting better, believe it or not. All it needs is a technocratic governor to deliver on infrastructure projects (new bridges, social housing etc). Tinubu was a failure in these respects.