Nigeria’s military regimes began building Abuja in the 1970s, carving a modern city out of a remote area but displacing indigenous populations in the process. Then following a democratic transition in 1999, Abuja became the fastest growing city in West Africa. This generated struggles over housing, and an estimate one million people have been displaced by forcible evictions throughout the Federal Capital Territory. Indigenes have recently started organizing with migrant communities whose homes are regularly demolished by the government.
IPS Associate Fellow Carl LeVan, an assistant professor in the School of International Service at American University will discuss his recent field research exploring how the poor are organizing for housing rights, human rights, and self-help in Abuja. Dr. LeVan published In Democracy’s Shadow: the Secret World of National Security with IPS co-founder Marcus Raskin in 2005 and he recently became an Associate Fellow.