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Lagos My State: Who Owns Lagos?


“By 1872 Lagos was a cosmopolitan trading center with a population of over 60,000 people. Colonial Lagos developed into a busy, cosmopolitan port, with an architecture that blended Victorian and Brazilian styles.The Brazilian element was imparted by skilled builders and masons who had returned from Brazil The black elite was composed of English-speaking “Saros” from Sierra Leone and other emancipated slaves who had been repatriated from Brazil and Cuba.

By 1872 the population of the colony was over 60,000, of whom less than 100 were of European origin.

In 1876 imports were valued at £476,813 and exports at £619,260. Telephone links with Britain were established by 1886, and electric street lighting in 1898.
In August 1896, Charles Joseph George and G.W. Neville,both merchants and both unofficial members of the Legislative Council, presented a petition urging construction of the railway terminus on Lagos Island rather than at Ido, and also asking for the railway to be extended to Abeokuta. Lagos history is rich in Yoruba tradition,trade and commerce, infrastructural development and cosmopolitanism.” -EXTRACTED

With the little facts above, I would like to educate some illiterates making stupid assumption from blind sentiments that they developed Lagos.

Lagosians had telephone presence in 1886, Itu and Calabar got connected to Telephone in 1923, while between 1946 and 1952, a three-channel line carrier system was commissioned between Lagos and Ibadan and was later extended to Osogbo, Kaduna, Kano, Benin, and Enugu.

Communication technology is a major signifier of civilizations and if Lagosians were already making telephone calls more than 70 years before Igbo citizens, where then did you get the warped idea that you came to develop Lagos?

By 1856 Cable and Wireless Company of the UK had commissioned a submarine cable link between Lagos and London and in 1851 a post office was established in Lagos; all these before the emergence of Nigeria as an amalgamated country. If I may ask again, where did the stupid idea that Igbo developed Lagos come from? Or that Lagos was developed with Nigeria’s money when Lagos was not even part of Nigeria until 1914.

I always feel embarrassed anytime I read and hear even so-called educated people from the East making these stupid assertions.

The first Yoruba lawyer Christopher Alexander Sapara Williams was called to the English Bar in 1879 whilst the first Igbo lawyer, Sir Louis Mbanefo, was called to the English bar in 1937.

Again the first Yoruba medical practitioner, Dr. Nathaniel King, graduated in 1875 from the University of Edinburgh whilst the first Igbo medical practitioner, Dr. Akannu Ibiam, graduated from another Scottish University in 1935. Again I ask, where did the ignorant hypothesis of the backward Yoruba race who needed development by the superior Igbo race come from?


For the sake of our generation and posterity, we need to teach factual history and not just cook up some cock and bull ego-centric concoctions as facts. The attitude of recycling long tales steeped in empty arrogance should be discarded before you miseducate your kids with fictions.

Awolowo will continue to be the Yoruba hero not because of blind followership but because he gave his people the system of free education, free healthcare and he introduced Television to the Yoruba; making Yorubaland the first region to have a TV station in Africa, all done with revenues from Cocoa. It is crass ignorance and naked buffonery to claim Lagos was built with Nigeria’s money. In addition, where did the foolish idea that the Igbo brought civilization to Lagos and Yoruba-land come from?

The aim of this post is not to deride any tribe but to correct the dangerous misinformation trending among some Igbo youths and common in their narratives that Lagos is a no-man’s land and that their fathers built and developed Lagos.

Ancestors of Igbo people came to Yoruba-land like all other settlers and we appreciate their contributions. But the stupid claim that Igbo built and developed Lagos is a gross display of stupidity because Lagos was already developed before Igbo ancestors came here from their villages and towns.

The first storey building in Nigeria was built in Marina, Badagry in 1845, long before some of hinterland people gave up the idea of conical mud houses with thatched roofs which some boastfully called ‘ancient mansions.’ How can you now claim your grand-sires developed Lagos? Please if you are one of those spreading the fiction, I expect you to desist from self-delusion and collective amnesia forthwith.

The first Igbo alphabet-character set and Igbo primer (Isoama-Ibo) was published by Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther (a Yoruba man from Osogun) in 1857. How can you now claim superiority over the Yoruba race and even carelessly affirm that your forebears should be thanked for bringing enlightenment to Yoruba Land?

While I do not see all these achievements as a sign of Yoruba superiority over the Igbo or any other tribe, for I do not believe in racial superiority; I will not also tolerate any attempt by bigots who stoke ethnic hatred through incitement and arrogant claims of superiority over others.


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