Originally published in 1986, this urban political ethnography focusses on Mushin, a large suburb of metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria. It explores the mechanisms which bridge the various social categories to bring about political interaction. The book traces the development of Mushin from a collection of rural villages to its full status as a political community. It analyses structures and processes and the ways in which, since the 19th century, the system has responded to colonial, civilian and military regimes. It examines the tactics ordinary people use to meet their needs and the ways in which political aspirants manipulate the system to acquire and wield power.