Agbero


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They have been expecting this. They are typically at bus stops and motor parks, the lots where buses begin their routes, and sometimes in front of shops and construction sites. They are often demanding money. Those at bus stops and in lots are often employees of the National Union of Road Transport Workers NURTW , a private association that collects tolls by any means necessary from all public transporters—and which is maligned by all. NURTW did not respond to a request for an interview by deadline. The agbero responded with a question. He gruffly asked the conductor which car part he wished to lose: the side mirror or the cover of his fuel tank.

He did not wait for an answer. He moved to the side of the bus, ready to dismember it. The conductor quickly jumped out and gave him what he wanted. An exposed fuel tank would have surely put the bus and everyone in it at great risk. Oriyomi used to be an agbero. Today he is in gymwear: a gray tank top and blue sweatpants and matching sneakers. He is a businessman now; he sells clothes.

Some of them are still agberos, some not; all of them were called at my request. Oriyomi explains to me that everyone expects that at the end of my interview I will be paying for some weekend entertainment of their choosing. He tells me it might be gin or codeine. He believed his study would increase his chances of getting a job, because the knowledge he had gained was applicable in just about any industry. Oriyomi had learned of a certain flow of income the job promised. As he said earlier, as long as cars moved on the road, there would always be money. The NURTW is well organized across the country—especially in Lagos—with offices in every motor park, local council area, local government, and district.

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It taxes all buses, motorcycles, tricycles, and taxis that operate in them. In Lagos, a city on the move, with an exploding population—now at 21 million—most of which relies on public transportation, there is an increasing number of vehicles to serve them. When the bus has been filled with paying passengers, they collect another fee. The NURTW has therefore become a popular option for the jobless—especially those who choose not to go to school and have limited opportunities.

It has also spawned violence. Because there is substantial money at stake, gangs and factions have formed among the field workers, all fighting to control certain localities and secure the influx of money there. Shorty, another friend of Oriyomi, tells me that at least nine people have died this year in an ongoing turf war.

So in Oriyomi left the business. Because of the violence area boys are stigmatized and come under heavy critique from citizens and the state, which sees them as criminals—threats to society who should be brought to heel.


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Most of this criticism is leveled without regard to the conditions that created the industry in the first place. And despite this criticism, and laws against touting, extortion, and toll collection, authorities do little to rein in the agberos. There was little or no presence of security on ground.

Good to go walk the dog or just get a bit of salty air. It is not busy in the mornings and it is relatively clean. I would not go alone.

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Nigeria: Ambode and the Challenge of 'Agbero'

Elegushi is a private beach but almist accessible to everyone. The ticket fares are reasonable.. Beachfront is occupied by spots were food and drinks are sold, as well as mini bars and clubs. Its music everywhere.. Be careful however of pick pockets.

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Agbero (touts) overloaded Beach! - Review of Elegushi Beach, Lagos, Nigeria - TripAdvisor

Lekki , Lagos , Nigeria. Review Highlights. Reviewed 7 March Reviewed 3 February Review of Elegushi Beach. Date of experience: June Ask Sam O about Elegushi Beach. See all reviews. Quick View. More Info. Afrochella !! Dec 22, - Jan 3, Shop Tickets And Tours. Oriyomi had learned of a certain flow of income the job promised. As he said earlier, as long as cars moved on the road, there would always be money.

File:Agbero in ogun state nigeria (thugs).png

The NURTW is well organized across the country—especially in Lagos—with offices in every motor park, local council area, local government, and district. It taxes all buses, motorcycles, tricycles, and taxis that operate in them. In Lagos, a city on the move, with an exploding population—now at 21 million—most of which relies on public transportation, there is an increasing number of vehicles to serve them. When the bus has been filled with paying passengers, they collect another fee.


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The NURTW has therefore become a popular option for the jobless—especially those who choose not to go to school and have limited opportunities. It has also spawned violence. Because there is substantial money at stake, gangs and factions have formed among the field workers, all fighting to control certain localities and secure the influx of money there.

Shorty, another friend of Oriyomi, tells me that at least nine people have died this year in an ongoing turf war. So in Oriyomi left the business. Because of the violence area boys are stigmatized and come under heavy critique from citizens and the state, which sees them as criminals—threats to society who should be brought to heel. Most of this criticism is leveled without regard to the conditions that created the industry in the first place. And despite this criticism, and laws against touting, extortion, and toll collection, authorities do little to rein in the agberos.

All they did was harass you a little and beg for money.

The term originated from being a boy who identifies with the street or locality where he lives: Kakawa Street, Campos Square, etc. In the spirit of community, the area boys organized sporting competitions between their different streets. They also protected their own against harassment by boys from other streets. They organized parties and festivals, such as the Eyo and Fanti, where everyone was invited. Being an area boy was a mark of cultural status. The side effects of the policy were a steady rise in inflation, increasing income inequality, and steepening prices of consumer goods.

With no jobs to sustain livelihoods and manage the rising cost of living, crime swelled. Some area boys were among those Nigerians who turned to trading in cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Some of those same boys got high off their own supply and became addicts. Robberies and burglaries increased. Some area boys started extorting market women, shop owners, and land developers for payments that had no return. All this coincided with a steady rise in the population of Lagos. Soon area boys lost their cultural status. They were reincarnated as agberos, as they are now known.

A study conducted by Momoh for his essay, based on interviews with hundreds of area boys, showed that many admitted to their criminal activities even as they maintained that they had not always sought criminality.

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