Mushin In Lagos: The Past In The Present

Sandra T. Barnes, Professor
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Friday, 29 June 2012


Honorable Chief Adebisi Akande

Representative of the Honorable Executive Governor Fashola

Representative of the Honorable Asiwaju Tinubu

Representative of Governor of Ekiti State

Vice Chanellor of  Lagos State Univeristy, Prof. J.O. Obafunwa

Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Wale Oke

Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Femi Bamiro (with thanks to the University of Ibadan for sponsoring me when I conducted the research for the lecture you will hear today)

Honorable Chief  Y. A. Ayeni, Oba of Tarkwa and Abagbo Land (with thanks for  caring for me during a later research project that I conducted in Isale Eko, Lagos)

Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, National Assembly, Mushin Constituency

Permanent Secretaries, Ministers, and Members of the Board of Trustees of the

Obafemi Awolowo Institute of  Government and Public Policy

And all other previously recognized honorables.

Thank you Dr. Jumoke Yacob-Haliso for your kind introduction.

I particularly want to thank the Director General, Prof. Adigun Agbaje, for inviting me to speak today and Lagos State University for hosting this lecture.  Prof. Agbaje could not be a more considerate and generous host.  The new Obafemi  Awolowo Institute of Government and Public Policy is exceedingly fortunate to have brought him to Lagos to lead this very exciting new initiative.  You can be sure it will thrive under his leadership.

I am honored to be here today, and to return to Lagos once again.  Since my youth I have lived in West Africa off and on for seven years.  I began as a secondary school teacher in a remote village in Sierra Leone.  That was more than 40 years ago.  From that time onward,  I lived in Lagos for several years and I visited it on numerous occasions.  It is the place that is closest to my heart.  Instead of the many people who criticize Lagos, I appreciate it.  I love the energy, the crowds on the streets, the spirit of getting ahead.   It has changed enormously over the years, so that each time I return I feel I must know it all over again.  Yet each time that I learn more about Lagos, I appreciate it even more. One of the great pleasures in these 40 years is the opportunity you have given me today to talk about some of the things I have learned.



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