Crime Waves and Human Rights Violations in Lagos Cityscape in Selected Nigerian Short Stories


  • Dr Solomon Olusayo Olaniyan Department of English & Literary Studies, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria



Lagos city, crime and human rights violations, Nigerian short stories, Postcolonial urban theory


this study investigates the normality of crimes and human rights violations in the selected short stories of Jude Dibia, Chika Unigwe and Nnedi Okorafor as representatives of 21st century Nigerian short stories that thematise criminality and desecration of human rights. Specifically, the paper explores various crimes such as armed robbery, hooliganism, bribery, extortion, murder, security agents’ connivance with criminal elements and the resultant human rights violations. Deploying postcolonial urban theory as its launching pad to interrogate the postcolonial realities within Lagos spatiality and crime wave, the paper shows that the police play major role in the escalation of crimes and perpetuation of human rights abuses through collusion with armed robbers and engaging in bribery and corruption, conspiracy theory, brutality, concealment of crimes and criminals and extrajudicial killings. Considering its cosmopolitan nature, Lagos is metaphorised as the microcosm of the nation; thus, realities within Lagos cityscape expose happenings in the nation at large. The socio-economic anomic situations depicted in the stories justify their post-independence disillusionment and jeremiad.



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Author Biography

Dr Solomon Olusayo Olaniyan, Department of English & Literary Studies, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria

Solomon Olusayo Olaniyan PhD is a lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Studies, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria. His research areas include postcolonial African literature, English literature, comparative literature and migrant studies. He has published articles in both local and international learned journals. His recent articles are: “Migritudinal Temper in Helon Habila’s Travelers”, Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies, vol. 30, no. 1, 2020, 68-83; “Narrating Human Trafficking Victimhood in Tina Okpara’s My Life Has a Price”, Texts and Contexts of Migration in Africa and Beyond, edited by Oluwole Coker and Adebusuyi Adeniran, Pan-African University Press, 2021,  pp. 171-183;  and “Leaving to Live but Not Without Scar: Trauma of Departure in Helon Habila’s Travelers”, Omnes: The Journal of Multicultural Society vol. 11, no. 1, 2021, pp. 1-19. Email <[email protected]>


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2022-12-04 — Updated on 2023-10-11


How to Cite

Olaniyan, S. O. . (2023). Crime Waves and Human Rights Violations in Lagos Cityscape in Selected Nigerian Short Stories. Ahyu: A Journal of Language and Literature, 5, 1–13. (Original work published December 4, 2022)
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