This study explored the influence of
area boys on behavioural disorder among adolescents of Shomolu Local
Government Area of Lagos State. Descriptive research survey design was
employed for the assessment of the opinions of the selected respondents,
with the adoption of questionnaire. Three hundred representatives were
selected in this study, to represent the entire population of the study.
Three null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the application
of the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of
significance. The result showed that:
(1) A significant difference exists between the activities of the area boys and the level of adolescents’ study habits.
(2) A significant difference exists between area boys’ activities and their desires to watch pornographic film.
(3) There is a significant difference
between the activities of the area boys and the degree of their moral
values in the community.
All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05
level of significance. Based on the results obtained in this study, it
is recommended that Government should look into the activities of the
area boys and girls in Nigeria, particularly, in Shomolu Local
Government Area. It is important to note that most of the area boys are
graduates, and some of them are professionals. Therefore, both the
states and federal governments should ensure that these men and women
are carefully catered for, by way of employing them and keeping them
busy, because an idle hand or mind, they say, is the devil’s workshop.
So, they should be rehabilitated for them to change and turn a new leaf.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE 1
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 8
1.3 Purpose of the Study 9
1.4 Research Questions 9
1.5 Hypotheses 10
1.6 Significance of the Study 11
1.7 Scope of the Study 12
1.8 Definition of Terms 12
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 13
2.1 Introduction 13
2.2 The Street Children of Nigeria 13
2.3 Decoding the Chaos of Lagos 23
2.4 Wikipedia 24
2.5 The Fear of Area Boys 28
2.6 Area Boys – a growing menace on the Streets of Lagos 33
2.7 Causes and Solutions to Youth Violence in Nigeria 44
CHAPTER THREE: Methodology 48
3.1 Research Design 48
3.2 Population of the Study 48
3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique 48
3.4 Instrument 49
3.5 Validity of the Instrument 50
3.6 Reliability of the Instrument 50
3.7 Procedure for Data Collection 51
3.8 Data Analysis 51
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS 52
4.1 Hypotheses Testing 52
4.2 Summary of Findings 55
CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 56
5.1 Summary of the Study 56
5.2 Conclusions 57
5.3 Recommendations 58
1.1 Background to the Study
Lagos city is a meeting point of
different ethnic groups from various parts of the country as well as
people from other parts of the world. This city as in most cities of
developing countries, has the existence of a wide divide between the
‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ which gave birth to a situation of apparent
existence of affluence and poverty. The city also prides itself with the
abundance of different sub-cultural groups in the state. One of such
sub-cultural groups is the phenomenon of ‘Area Boys’ sub-cultural group,
whose activities to some extent constitutes social problems to all and
sundry in the state. Lagos today, is one of such urban centres where
this culture is predominant and, it seems to be assuming a dangerous
In the past, especially during the
1960s, one would agree that it is a matter of pride to be called a Lagos
boy, ‘Omo Eko’. It can be said, also, that it is a matter of pride to
be known as a boy from a particular area of the city such as Isale Eko,
Campus Square, Idumagba, Olowogbowo, Isale Ofin and Lafiaji. Hence it
was common then to see people being identified with their areas of
residence. This type of identification gave momentum to a sense of
belongingness, which encouraged competition in all walks of life,
particularly imports and commercial activities. However, all these may
not suggest that every boy or girl in Lagos then was well behaved or
good mannered. There were pockets of juvenile delinquents regarded as
“the do nothing” who were involved in petty theft and other various
The youths who indulge in petty theft
and other various delinquent behaviour were known as ‘Jaguda’. Hence,
whosoever was classified as ‘do nothing’ or involve in stealing was
called ‘Jaguda-Eko’. This made Sonowo (2003) to note that in Lagos
today, this era of pride and respectability is gone and has been
replaced with that of fear, chaos, violence and anarchy caused by
another generation of Lagos boys”.
From the sayings of Sonowo (2003) above,
one can say that the emergence of “Area Boys” started with the reality
of ‘Jaguda’ – Eko notion in Lagos Island.
The word “Area Boys” connotes a youth
characterized by social unrest. The term has generated lots of concern
by the adults society and every responsible citizen.
A careful search into the dictionary to
find the closet words that can best describe “Area Boys” is the word
‘miscreant’ meaning a person who has done something wrong or illegal.
The United Nations report best explains
‘Area Boys’. A growing menace on the Streets of Lagos. A group of armed
Street Children on the rampage on the streets of Lagos harassing
motorists and pedestrians and extorting money from them (UN 14 July,
‘Area Boys’ are people who are likely to indulge in negative issues like:
- Crime as a way of life and means of livelihood.
- taking of drug and peddling it.
- Homosexuality (male)
- Prostituing (female)
- Assassination etc.
A critical analysis of the social
character of adolescents and youths may support the view that it was
greatly affected by alienation from the wider society as a result of
which they were more prone to expression of violence in the face of
economic hardship. The fact that the adolescent and youths generally
were severely affected by failure of the educational system,
unemployment, a weak relationship with family and community life
occasioned by breakdown of the traditional family structure and the
collapse of the traditional mechanisms for social mobility and social
conflicts resolutions to some extent, made them to be mostly isolated
from the society which they were familiar with, yet, could hardly be
part of it. These perceived problems, which are common in urban centres
in Nigeria have to some reasonable extent, created a situation where
children are found on the streets without adequate parental supervision
and subjected to its various temptations, that form the veritable
workshop for criminal apprenticeship.
The adolescent children between the ages
of twelve and eighteen represents the future of any society. They need a
lot of investing in, moral wise, educationally and all the positives
concerning man moulding qualities. It is a very vulnerable age.
Vulnerable in the sense that it is susceptible. The adolescent is in the
age of adventure. He is ready to explore anything he sees from the
One of the pet names for ‘Area Boys’ is
‘Alaye’. A kid with the title ‘Alaye’ automatically gain the respect of
his colleagues, soon that ‘Alaye’ kid will go beyond the adoption of the
notorious pet name to begin, the very acts of ‘Alaye’ in his immediate
On environmental sanitation days, he
leads others to block the street road with planks and benches borrowed
from the ever present stalls and shops around and begin to beg for
money. it starts like that, later, they will become hostile to the
motorists that refuse to comply.
Again, the “Area Boys” syndrome is like a
breast cancer in the immediate environment. It is eating up every
jobless youth and every child is a likely candidate, especially, the
Adolescence is a period of storm and
stress, of transition between childhood and adulthood, of confusion and
conflict both for himself, his parents, his peers and the society in
general. As a result of many physical, social and economic changes
taking place in the adolescent’s environment, he is bound to have
conflicting ideas, values, and beliefs about himself.
Akinboye (1984) noted that the
physiological and psychological changes are often either intimately or
remotely related to many of the situations which create behavioural
problem in the adolescent such as peer group influences, delinquent
behaviour, sexual, moral and ethical concerns.
From the views of Akinboye (1984) above,
it can be said that an adolescent can resist or accept the negative
situation seen around his environment. one of such situation is the
violent and intimidating traits of ‘Area Boys’. Adolescents often revolt
against all imposed truth and authority of the adult because to them
life is idealistic. Their revolts hinge on the development of morals and
values. It is believed, to some extent, that the development of moral
values during adolescence is closely related to the adolescent’s
environmental experience in which the ‘Area-Boys’ have domineering
influence. Based on the fore goings in this background to the study, it
is reasoned that the phenomenon of ‘Area Boys’ have attained alarming
proportion. These gangs of youths constitutes urban nuisance and
criminal menace. They have been of increasing public concern and posed
the worst challenge to the rule of law in Lagos thereby making the city
to acquire the notoriety of the country’s epicenter of social unrest.
Thus, it is in line with this perceived reality that this study tries to
investigate the influence of “Area – Boys” activities on the behaviour
of adolescents in the society.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The reality of “Area Boys” in the
country comes with its attendant shortcomings. Adolescents in the
society have come to accept the norms and values held by the
“Area-Boys”, sadly, these adolescents are ones that will later become
the future leaders. This negative behaviour exhibited by the adolescents
is carried on to the adulthood. Thus, the occurrence of physical
assaults by the leaders of virtually all the legislative arms of
government in the country, other misdeamenour are displayed by the
leaders of the country and this has earned the nation a negative image
at home and abroad.
The “Area Boys” concept is gradually
assuming a national prominence and this calls for a thorough study to
understand the circumstance that necessitates its emergence and
acceptance by the writer populace, especially, the adolescents in the
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The objectives of this study were to:
(1) Investigate the influence of “Area-Boys” on the level of study habit exhibited by the adolescents.
(2) find out the influence of “Area-Boys” on the degree of their moral values displayed in the community.
(3) Examine the influence of “Area-Boys” on the level of their desire to watch pornographic films.
1.4 Research Questions
The questions that were asked and which answers are sought for, in this study are:
(1) Will there be any significant influence of the “Area-Boys” on the level of study habit exhibited by the adolescent?
(2) Can there be any significant influence of the activities of the “Area-Boys” on the degree of their moral values?
(3) Will there be any significant influence of the activities of the “Area-Boys” on their desire for pornographic films?
The hypotheses so generated in this study were:
(1) There will be no significant
difference between the activities of the area boys and the level of
study habit exhibited by the adolescents in school.
(2) There will be no significant
difference between the activities of the area boys and the adolescents
degree of moral values.
(3) There will be no significant
difference between the activities of the area boys and the level of
their desires for pornographic films.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of great benefits to:
(1) The Federal and State
Ministry of Information and Communication. It will afford the Ministry,
the opportunity of understanding the need to re-absorb the “Area-Boys”
into the main stream society, so as to reduce the effect of the
“Area-Boys” on the citizens, especially the adolescent youths who are
the strength of the society.
(2) The Federal and State
Ministry of Youth and Sport will see this study a veritable instrument
in solving the problem of area boys in Lagos State.
(3) Private and Corporate
Organisations interested in having more insight into how to provide
social responsibility initiatives will find this work resourceful.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study looked into the activities of
the “Area-Boys” in Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State and its
influence on the behaviour of the adolescent.
1.8 Definition of Terms
“Area-Boys” Group of young criminals who terrorize their neighbourhood and engages in violent criminal activities within Lagos Metropolis.
“Alaye” Owner of the world and one in charge of Lagos environs.
“Influence” The effect that somebody or something has on the way a person thinks or behaves.