The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has claimed that Lagos State is not part of Yoruba land.
Akiolu’s statement is coming barely a week after he publicly humiliated the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi at an event.
In a statement
from Akiolu’s palace, the monarch traced the historical background of
the state and why it should not be regarded as part of Yoruba land.
reads: “Coming from the palace, with what I was told by my late paternal
grandmother who is a descendant of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi and also
reading from factual Historical books, let me share this Knowledge with
you all on Eko/Lagos.
Lagos was founded by Prince Ado, the son of the Oba of Benin, Prince Ado
was the first Oba of Lagos, the son of the Bini King, Prince Ado, named
the town Eko until the Portuguese explorer Ruy de Segueira changed the
Maritime town to Lagos, which at that time from 1942 was Portuguese
expedition center down the African Coast.
“It was a major
centre of the slave trade until 1851. Lagos was annexed by Britain via
the Lagos treaty of cession in 1861, ending the consular period and
starting the British Colonial Period. The remainder of modern day
Nigeria was seized in 1886 when the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria
was established in 1914 Lagos was declared its capital due to the
struggle of the Bini King.
experienced growth prior to the British Colonial rule and even more
rapid growth during the Colonial rule throughout the 1960s, 70s,
continued through the 80s and 90s till date. Thanks to the Awori’s,
Bini’s, Yoruba’s, migrants across the nation and world at large, as no
particular group of people can take the glory alone.
“Lagos is made
up of Lagoons and creeks. The Lagos lagoon, Lagos Harbour, five cowne
creeks, Ebute-Metta creeks, Porto-Novo creeks, New canal, Badagry
creeks, Kuramo waters and Light house creeks.
and Bini’s are known to be the first settlers of the Eko land. The
Awori’s are speakers of a distinct dialect close to that of the Yoruba
language with a rich Bini mixture. Traditionally, Awori’s were found in
Ile-Ife, they were known to be the Bini’s who followed their self-exiled
Prince, the first son of the Ogiso (now called Oba) of Benin Kingdom,
whose step-mother was after his head.
Benin Prince Izoduwa known to the Yorubas as Ooduwa (Oduduwa) was made
ruler of the Ife people due to his powers and followers from the Great
(Ooduwa) was made the first King of Ile-Ife in 1230 AD. His followers
from his father’s Kingdom in Benin are the today’s Awori people who
settled in Eko now called Lagos.
“In the 1300,
the King of Benin-Empire heard from one of his traders who was a settler
in Eko on how the Bini’s were treated by the Awori’s who lived in their
area. Upon hearing this, the King of Benin commanded the assembling of a
war expedition, led by his son, Prince Ado, which headed the settlement
of the Awori’s and demanded explanation.
Eko, Prince Ado and his Army were more than received. The Aworis asked
the Bini Prince to stay and become their leader. Ado agreed on the
condition that they surrender their sovereignty to the Oba of Benin, to
which the people agreed. Hearing this, the King of Benin gave his
permission for Prince Ado and the expedition to remain in Eko.
“The Oba of
Benin sent some of his chiefs including the Eletu, Odibo, Obanikoro and
others to assist his son, Oba Ado in the running of Eko.
crowing of Prince Ado as the first Oba of Lagos (then called Eko), Lagos
served as a major center for slave trade from which the Aworis, the Oba
of Benin and his son the Oba of Lagos and all the children/descendants
who took over as his successors for over four centuries supported the
“The Oba of
Benin was the head of the Benin Empire which are the present day
Western, Southern and Eastern modern day Nigeria. The King never obliged
anyone to speak the Bini language as he believed everyone was entitled
to their own choice of language.
“The name Eko
was given to it by the first king of Lagos, Oba Ado, the young and
vibrant Prince from Benin. Eko was the land now known as Lagos Island,
where the king palace was built.
“The palace is
called Idugaran meaning “palace built on pepper farm” Oba Ado and the
warriors from Benin together with the early Bini’s settlers in Eko and
the Awori people settled in the southern part of Eko called “Isale Eko”.
“Isale literally means bottom “. Must have been used to indicate
downtown (as in down town Lagos)
coming in of the Benin’s 1300AD , Lagos geographical boundary was Lagos
mainland, Lagos Island, the seat of the Oba of Lagos then consisted of a
pepper farm and fishing post. No one was living there.
“About 1450 AD
some Yorubas who hailed from Isheri in Ogun-state and Ekiti were allowed
by the King to settle in Eko during a war, they came in a very large
numbers thereby surpassing the numbers of the Awori’s and Bini’s. (Hence
Yorubas claim to own Eko due to their numbers).
“Oba Ado fell
in love with a beautiful woman whose father was Awori and mother a
daughter to one of the chief; they had two sons and also a daughter
Erelu Kuti, who begot Ologun Kutere who later became King.”