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History of Lagos State


Encyclopedia » History
Lagos

 

 

Image: Map of Nigeria showing the position of Lagos state

 

 January-5-2012

 

Historical view of Lagos State first historical building in Nigeria located in Lagos
 Historical view of Lagos StateFirst historical building in Nigeria situated in Lagos

 

Lagos State was created on May 27, 1967 by virtue of State (Creation and Transitional Provisions) Decree No. 14 of 1967, which restructured Nigeria’s Federation into 12 states. Prior to this, Lagos Municipality had been administered by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Lagos Affairs as the regional authority, while the Lagos City Council (LCC) governed the City of Lagos. Equally, the metropolitan areas (Colony Province) of Ikeja, Agege, Mushin, Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry were administered by the Western Region. The State took off as an administrative entity on April 11, 1968 with Lagos Island serving the dual role of being the State and Federal Capital. However, with the creation of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja in 1976, Lagos Island ceased to be the capital of the State which was moved to Ikeja. Equally, with the formal relocation of the seat of the Federal Government to Abuja on 12 December 1991, Lagos Island ceased to be Nigeria’s political capital. Nevertheless, Lagos remains the center of commerce for the country

 

 

       OFFICIAL LAGOS STATE HISTORY

Prior to the Portuguese name of Lagos being adopted, Lagos was originally called Eko, which stems from either Oko (Yoruba: "cassava farm") or Eko ("war camp"), by its Bini conquerors. History has it that the Oba of Bini sent various trade expeditions to Ghana where spices were traded and one of his traders complained about the way she was being treated by the Awori's. The Oba of Bini then sent a trade expedition by sea. Ironically, the leader of the expedition arrived in the evening at a time when the people who were predominantly fishermen were either wading into the water or getting into their boats to gather their catch. He declined to engage them further and returned to what is now called Benin City where he reported to the Oba of Bini that they were attacked. This prompted the Oba of Bini to constitute a war expedition led by Ado, a Bini Prince to go to Lagos and demand an explanation. This was over 650 years ago. However, on getting there, they were well received. The people were so enamored with Ado they asked him to stay and lead them. He agreed on the condition that they surrendered their sovereignty to the Oba of Bini to which they agreed. The Oba of Bini was told this and he gave his permission for the expedition to remain. The Oba of Bini later sent some of his chiefs including the Eletu Odibo, Obanikoro and others to assist Ado in the running of Eko. Till today, the Oba of Lagos is the head of all the Kings in Lagos State and his status is different from other Oba's most of whom were later given back their crowns and staff of office only within the last 40 years and have various classifications. Suffice it to state that those who got their crowns back were the original land owners. These were Olofin's children. Moreover, modern day Lagosians have so intermingled that no single tribe or people can claim it even though the predominant language is Yoruba. The present day Lagos state has a higher percent of this sub-group who allegedly migrated to the area from Isheri along the Ogun river.
 

History has it that the Awori were actually from Ife the cradle of Yorubaland. The Awori people are a peaceful people initially not taken to warfare. Due to war, those from the hinterlands, like the Ekiti ran towards Isheri which at that time had more than one Olofin (Alafin)who were heads of probably respective settlements about 1400AD. With the fleeing people from the hinterlands most of them scattered again to different places, some to Iro, to Otta, Ado, others to Ebute Metta i.e three landing places - Oyingbo, Iddo and Lagos Island (Eko). The Olofin that brought those who went to Ebute-Metta was Ogunfunminire later known as Agbodere. With the full commencement of the war about 2000 moved to the nearest island of Iddo, others to Otto Awori or Otto Ijanikin towards modern-day Badagry. Those from Ekiti Aramoko came to Ebute-Metta, Iddo and then Ijora. The Olofin was said to have 32 children. His own known children are Olumegbon, Aromire, Oloto, Oluwa, Oniru, Onisiwo, Onitoolo, and Elegushi. Ojora, Onikoyi and Mogiso were not his biological children. After the demise of Agbodere, the name Olofin became the name used to remember him while a title of Oloto was given to his seccessor. With one of his sons becoming the Oloto his other children parted ways to what is known as visible settlements in the present day Lagos. Aromire whose name means defeated the river or became the river's friend is likely to be the first to cross being said to have swam across the river. It is possible that his real name is not Aromire but due to the feat he became known as such.

Until the coming of the Bini's, Lagos's geographic boundary was what is known now as Lagos Mainland. Lagos Island, the seat of the Oba of Lagos then consisted of a pepper farm and fishing posts. No one lived there though. The name Eko was given to it by its first King Oba Ado during its early history, it also saw periods of rule by the Kingdom of Benin. Eko was the land area now known as Lagos Island where the king's palace was built. The Palace is called Iga Idunganran which, translated means Palace built on the pepper farm. Oba Ado and the warriors from Benin as well as some of the indigenous people who sought safety settled down in the southern part of Eko called "Isale Eko", Isale literarily meaning bottom, but must have been used to indicate downtown (as in Downtown Lagos).

slave port BadagrySlave port Badagry
Early Missionary CementarySlave Port, Badagry

Government

Since its creation in 1967, the state has been administered either by a governor and a House of Assembly in civilian or quasi-civilian (under Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida's administration) federal administrations, or by Sole-Administrators or Military Administrators in military dispensations . Since December 2007, Yoruba has been the second official language of debate and discussion for the House of Assembly after English.

Administrative Divisions and Local Government Areas

Lagos State is divided into five Administrative Divisions, which are further divided into 20 Local Government Areas, or LGAs

LGA NameArea (sq.km)Census 2006
population
Administrative capitalPostal
Code
Agege11459,939Agege100
Alimosho1851,277,714Ikotun100
Ifako-Ijaye27427,878Ifako100
Ikeja46313,196Ikeja100
Kosofe81665,393Kosofe100
Mushin17633,009Mushin100
Oshodi-Isolo45621,509Oshodi/Isolo100
Shomolu12402,673Shomolu101
 Ikeja Division424 4,801,311  
Apapa27217,362Apapa101
Eti-Osa192287,785Ikoyi101
Lagos Island9209,437Lagos Island101
Lagos Mainland19317,720Lagos Mainland101
Surulere23503,975Surulere101
 Lagos Division270 1,542,279  
Ajeromi-Ifelodun12684,105Ajeromi/Ifelodun102
Amuwo-Odofin135318,166Festac Town102
Ojo158598,071Ojo102
Badagry441241,093Badagry103
 Badagry Division746 1,841,435  
Ikorodu394535,619Ikorodu104
 Ikorodu Division394 535,619  
Ibeju-Lekki455117,481Akodo105
Epe1,185181,409Epe106
 Epe Division1,640 298,890  

The first 16 of the above LGAs comprise the statistical area of Metropolitan Lagos. The remaining four LGAs (Badagry, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki and Epe) are within Lagos State but are not part of Metropolitan Lagos.

In 2003 many of the existing 20 LGAs were split for administrative purposes into Local Council Development Areas. These lower-tier administrative units now number 56: Agbado/Oke-Odo, Agboyi/Ketu, Agege, Ajeromi, Alimosho , Apapa, Apapa-Iganmu, Ayobo/Ipaja, Badagry West, Badagry, Bariga, Coker Aguda, Egbe Idimu, Ejigbo, Epe, Eredo, Eti Osa East, Eti Osa West, Iba, Isolo, Imota, Ikoyi, Ibeju, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ifelodun, Igando/Ikotun, Igbogbo/Bayeku, Ijede, Ikeja, Ikorodu North, Ikorodu West, Ikosi Ejinrin, Ikorodu, Ikorodu West, Iru/Victoria Island, Itire Ikate, Kosofe, Lagos Island West, Lagos Island East, Lagos Mainland, Lekki, Mosan/Okunola, Mushin, Odi Olowo/Ojuwoye, Ojo, Ojodu, Ojokoro, Olorunda, Onigbongbo, Oriade, Orile Agege, Oshodi, Oto-Awori, Shomolu, Surulere and Yaba.[5]

Universities in Lagos State

  • University of Lagos, Lagos
  • Lagos State University, Lagos
  • Caleb University, Lagos
  • Yaba College of Technology, Lagos
  • Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos
  • Lagos Business School

People

While the State is essentially a Yoruba-speaking environment, it is a socio-cultural melting pot attracting both Nigerians and foreigners alike.

Indigenous inhabitants include the Aworis and Eguns in Ikeja and Badagry Divisions respectively, with the Eguns being found mainly in Badagry.

There is also an admixture of other pioneer settlers collectively known as the Ekos.

The indigenes of Ikorodu and Epe Divisions are mainly the Ijebus with pockets of Eko-Awori settlers along the coastland and riverine areas.

Slavery

slave routes
Slave market Badagry Slave routes

      

During a visit to Nigeria in December, 2001 I toured the town of Badagry and learned that Badagry was an important slave route in West Africa. Badagry is one of five divisions created in Lagos State in l968.

  A darker historical era saw many people of West Africa leave their shores for plantations in Europe, North and South America and the Caribbean. The infamous slave trade in Nigeria is not known to many people like the slave trade in Ghana, Senegal, Togo and Benin. Nigeria and Ghana were former British colonies. Senegal, Togo and Benin were former French colonies.

  This ancient town of Badagry was founded around l425 A.D. Before its existence, people lived along the Coast of Gberefu and this area later gave birth to the town of Badagry. It is the second largest commercial town in Lagos State, located an hour from Lagos and half hour from the Republic du Benin. The Town of Badgry is bordered on the south by the Gulf of Guinea and surrounded by creeks, islands and a lake. The ancient town served mainly the Oyo Empire which was comprised of Yoruba and Ogu people. Today, the Aworis and Egun are mainly the people who reside in the town of Badagry as well as in Ogun State in Nigeria and in the neighboring Republic du Benin.

  In the early 1500's, slaves were transported from West Africa to America through Badagry. It is reported that Badagry exported no fewer than 550,000 African slaves to America during the period of the American Independence in l787. In addition, slaves were transported to Europe, South America and the Caribbean. The slaves came mainly from West Africa and the neighboring countries of Benin and Togo as well as others parts of Nigeria. The slave trade became the major source of income for the Europeans in Badagry.

  The town of Badagry wants to enlighten the world to its historic sites, landscapes, cultural artifacts and relics of human slavery. Badagry wants to share this world heritage site with others. They are preserving buildings, sites and memories of this iniquitous period so those tourists can unearth the dark impact of this era. Places of interest include the Palace of the Akran of Badagry and its mini ethnographic museum, the early missionaries cemetery, the District Officer's Office and Residence, the First Storey Building in Nigeria constructed by the Anglican missionaries, relics of slave chains in the mini museum of slave trade, cannons of war, the Vlekte slave Market, and the Slave Port established for the shipment of slaves before the l6th century.

 

Transportation

 

BRT transportation in Lagos State

BRT transportation

Murtala Muhammed Airport -Lagos

Murtala Muhammed Airport - Lagos

 

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Updated 6 Years ago
 

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