Social hierarchies, moral reform, and economic precariousness within the Oodua People’s Congress: From radical vigilante experience to security work in Lagos (Nigeria)

Participations in law and order
By Lucie Revilla

The OPC is well known in the literature on vigilantism for having undertaken violent vigilante actions against crime since the mid-1990s in Lagos. Gradually, the Yoruba nationalist organization turned into a private security provider. The classic perspective of works on vigilantism favors the analysis of the monopoly of legitimate violence, considering this kind of initiative either as a negation of state sovereignty or, by contrast, as one of its many recompositions. This paper instead focuses on routinized security tasks by looking at the many forms of paid security work that the organization creates for its members. The transformation of the OPC can also be explained through the moral reform of the organization and a process of internal hierarchization.

  • vigilantism
  • socialization
  • economic precariousness
  • OPC
  • Nigeria
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