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Gated Neighbourhoods and privatisation of urban security in Ibadan Metropolis

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Oluseyi Fabiyi

Chapter 1. Introduction

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1.0. Background to the study

1Nigerian urban-space has been increasingly transformed since the inception of the oil boom years of the seventies. The oil boom resulted in an unprecedented growth for most Nigerian cities as many rural dwellers moved en-mass from the rural hinterlands to urban areas in order to benefit from the suddenly exploding and rapidly expanding urban economy. The influx of rural-urban migrants into the cities, majority of who did not possess the necessary skills to make them relevant in the urban economy consequently degraded the cities socially economically and physically.

2Crime and fear of crime are threats to the stability and social climate of cities for purpose of sustainable and economic development (Agbola 1997), the quality of life and human rights. Crime is entrenched due to lack of institutional and social control. An inadequate urban environment and exclusion can encourage crime. It has been observed that the failure of security systems in most Nigerian urban areas has brought about a new dimension to the residents’ outlook on security issues. The focus now is on prevention rather than combating or tracking down criminals. Some of the measures of preventing crime came up through private initiatives and collective approach from resident and landlord associations.

3Cities always reflect the culture of a period. ‘The orderly society of ancient culture of Egypt, Greece and Rome built open towns. But when civilisations declined in the middle ages, walled towns arose as protection against the anarchy that engulfed humanity...’ Gated communities is not alien to Nigeria, the intra tribal wars of the 18th century brought about a number ofgated towns in the north and south western parts of the country, the kingships and nobles also lived in fortified communities. People in the past have developed strategies to fortify their enclaves and territories.

4Another dimension to gated communities emerged in Nigeria as early as late 1970s and 1980s which involved fragmentation of residential precincts into smaller informal neighbourhoods through closure of access roads by gates and walls. Some of the gates are permanently closed while some are open to urban residents during the day. These types of closures are common in most Nigerian large urban centers especially in the transition and the low density zones of urban centers. These collective aspirations of local residents invariably reflect the participation of non state actors in informal urban governance in Nigeria. The collective aspirations of the residents in a neighbourhood to restrict accessibility and enforce norms in neighbourhoods is a major interest of this study, the social cohesion and social exclusion that result from gated communities are some of the primary foci of the study.

1.2. Aim and objectives of the study

5The aim of this study is to critically examine the nature, trends and types of urban spatial changes in some selected neighbourhoods of Ibadan metropolis, occasioned by concern for security. The study also analyses the factors that give rise to various strategies adopted by residents to ensure safer neighbourhood especially as relates to privatisation of streets and local access by residents.

6The specific objectives to achieve the aim include

  • To examine how neighbourhood associations organise themselves to ensure safer neighbourhoods.
  • To investigate and examine the factors that prompt and determine erection of street gates in the study area.
  • To evaluate the level of effectiveness of different crime prevention strategies in the neighbourhood.
  • To evaluate the evolution of neighbourhood associations and examine the relationship between neighbourhood association activities and crime level in neighbourhoods.

1.3. The Study Area

7Ibadan is located in the South-western part of Nigeria. It lies within latitude 7° 19’ 08” and 7° 29’ 25” of the equator and longitude 3° 47’ 50” and 4° 0’ 22”. Milson (1891) estimated the aerial extent of the city to be about 40km square in 1890, with an estimated population of over 200,000 with 120,000 persons gathered within the city wall. In 1901 the railway as a new instrument of commercial articulation whose construction began in 1895 reached Ibadan and greatly enhanced the city,s favourable location as a brake of bulk points. Between 1946 and 1952 a more rapid growth of Ibadan was witnessed ; this followed the designation of Western provinces in 1946. Ibadan has since remained a capital town.

8The establishment of the Nigerian premier university college in 1948 and the University college Hospital in 1957 as well as designation of Ibadan as the capital of semi-autonomous Western region in 1952, all these contributed to the astronomie growth of Ibadan. All these developments brought about notable physical development and restructuring such as the secretariat office complex, Bodija housing estate in 1959 designated to provide accommodation for increasing number of professionals and ease the pressure on other existing GRAs in Agodi and Jericho. All these events made Ibadan the focal point of economic, political and academic activities with attendant problems of increasing waves of crime.

9The early seventies and eighties brought about another sets of unprecedented spatial expansion of Ibadan. Within this period, certain hitherto depressed areas such as the eastern, northern and south-western parts of the city sprang to life, (Areola 1982). This was occasioned by a spate of development of projects generated by the oil boom of the seventies and the massive construction of housing units and private estates by individuals. The heterogeneous characteristics of Ibadan population and the rate of influx of new comers into the city are transforming steadily the predominantly indigenous city to a multicultural, multiethnic urban settlement. It is common to have neighbourhoods with unique cultural inclinations and behaviours in the city. Figure 1.1 shows the study area in a map of Nigeria.

Neighbourhood aggregation and segregation factors in Ibadan Metropolis

10Agglomeration and segregation refer to a process of clustering wherein individuals and groups shifted and sorted out in space based on their sharing certain traits or activities in common. Van der Zandern (1996). The segregation factor can be based on ethnicity ; wherein members of the same ethnic group, finding themselves in a foreign land, could choose to live in close proximity to one another, this arrangement is also called ‘ethnic enclaves’ (Boracich and Model 1980, Aldrich et al 1989).

11Another is the legislative policy of the government by which certain groups are separated spatially from others through some form of policy such as land use scheme or Master plan when land is allocated on the basis of income or race through governmental policy, it can encourage segregation and corresponding social exclusion to non members of the neighbourhoods.

12There are three types of neighbourhood aggregation observable in the Ibadan metropolis. These aggregation types encourage clustering of dwellings based on different grouping parameters.

13Socio-temporal class agglomeration :

14There are certain neighbourhoods in Ibadan that are essentially occupied by a particular class of specific generation. Some of these are based on governmental policy at certain times and the peoples’ economic status. For instance, Bodija housing estate was established in 1959 by the defunct Western region government to house the elite in the early 1960s who form the dominant residents in the neighbourhood. New Bodija was established in the 1970s, which also attracted the rich class of the late 1970s and 1980s. There is generation-shift of residential neighbourhoods as land price determines the economic status of people that are attracted to particular neighbourhoods. There is no comprehensive master plan for Ibadan metropolis, which explains the poor intermix of land uses in the city.

Fig. 1 : Map of Oyo State illustrating the five Local Government Areas under study in Ibadan City.
Fig 1.1 : Map of Nigeria showing Oyo state and Ibadan Metroplic

15Another specific area of interest is Agbowo area. The neighbourhood is adjacent to University of Ibadan. Most residents and land owners in this neighbourhood are those who had contact with the University of Ibadan either as employees, casuals, students or civil servants.

16Cultural aggregation : It is also noticeable in Ibadan metropolis that in-migration into the city has specific preference for location in some places. It is common to see small agglomeration of immigrants on the basis of tribal line or national line. There are some neighbourhoods that are noted for Hausas while some are occupied by Ghanaians or Togolese. Some of these residents have ownership status of properties.

17Mixed agglomeration : Ibadan is a rapidly expanding city thus enveloping some old villages. It is therefore a common phenomenon to see a poor neighbourhood within a well-maintained neighbourhood. Such neighbourhoods are scattered in the city.

18Consequently there is no clear demarcation of neighbourhood on the basis of class or race. There is wide mixture of these three-neighbourhood types in different parts of Ibadan.

19Figure 1.2 shows the land use classification in Ibadan metropolis. It is noteworthy that a substantial part of the metropolis is classified as high density residential.

20Though Ibadan extends beyond the boundary of the study area, the study area is limited to the metropolitan Ibadan. This comprises five local governments which are Ibadan north, Ibadan south west, Ibadan north east, Ibadan south east and Ibadan north west. Figure 1.2 is the land use classification of the Oyo State ministry of Land and housing. The classification scheme classed most parts of Ibadan area as high density residential classes. However, a detailed evaluation of neighbourhoods in Ibadan metropolis shows that this classification is too generalised and does not reflect the subtle differences m neighbourhood quality in the metropolis. Fabiyi (1999) used remote sensing data integrated into a GIS package to evaluate neighbourhood quality differentials in Ibadan metropolis. Based on the application of carefully selected criteria the metropolis was classified as High quality, deteriorating and urban decay areas. (Fig 1.3.)

21Figure 1.3 shows that major parts of the core areas, especially those at the south eastern parts of the metropolis are poor quality neighbourhoods, while only a small fragment of the metropolis are low density. neighbourhoods in the south western parts of the metropolis. Major parts are in deteriorating conditions. These quality assessment criteria were also used in the classification of neighbourhoods during the field work. The quality assessment by Fabiyi ( 1999) was further refined by the following parameters : visual quality of the environment, the level and quality of infrastructure. The high quality areas are well maintained areas while the deterioration areas are fairly maintained and urban decay areas are poorly maintained areas. This map was used to provide a guide only to the field enumerators ; they were expected to use visual assessment to code a given area into the three quality classes.

Figure 1.2. Map of Ibadan Metropolis showing land use classification

Neighbourhood classification for the study

22The study area was classified into three social classes of neighbourhoods based on the characteristics and quality of building and building environment, general social characteristics of residents and the infrastructural developments. There are no official records on the socio-economic characteristics of the residents in the study area. The grouping was done through field observations based on three main criteria using the base map from Fabiyi (1999) as enumerated in what follows.

  • High-class areas : these are low-density areas with well-maintained environment and modem buildings. The residents are high-income earners and live in fortified houses. Most buildings have tall fences and gates. The areas that fall in this category include Agodi GRA, Jericho GRA, Old and New Bodija.
  • Middle class neighbourhood : this is the zone of working class residence where middle class housing scan be found. They are characterised by low quality housing but well maintained environment.
  • Low class neighbourhood : this represents areas where majority of housing and the housing environment are in a very bad shape and the residents are essentially low-income earners.

Fig.1.3 : Neighbourhood quality in Ibadan metropolis from S POTXS (Adapted from Fabiyi 1999)

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1 : Map of Oyo State illustrating the five Local Government Areas under study in Ibadan City.Fig 1.1 : Map of Nigeria showing Oyo state and Ibadan Metroplic
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/473/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 206k
Légende Figure 1.2. Map of Ibadan Metropolis showing land use classification
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/473/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 278k
Légende Fig.1.3 : Neighbourhood quality in Ibadan metropolis from S POTXS (Adapted from Fabiyi 1999)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/473/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 221k

© IFRA-Nigeria, 2004

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