ORIGIN OF LAGOS STATE NIGERIA (ílú ékò) by Olaide Olawale


LAGOS the largest city and former capital of NIGERIA and the largest mega city in the AFRICAN continent , it's also the 4th largest economy Africa. Modern-day Lagos is now a state in south western Nigeria. It bounded on the west by the Republic of Benin, to the north and east by Ogun state with the Atlantic Ocean providing a coastline on the south 

Lagos has a total of 3,577 square kilometers; 787  kilometers is made of lagoon and creeks including; Lagos lagoon, Lagos harbour, Five cowrie creek, Ebute-metta creek, photo-novo creek, New canal, Badagry creek, kuramo waters and Lighthouse 

According to the oral history of Lagos, at some  point around the 13th-14th century , the Oba (king) of Benin empire heard from one his traders complaints about being mistreated by Awori who lived in the area of current day Lagos. The Oba of Benin then sent a trade expenditure by sea to engage the Awori people who nontheless declined to engage and attacked the mission sent by Benin.
Upon hearing this as the mission returned to Benin City, the Oba of Benin commanded the assembling of a war expedition, led by Ado a prince of Benin, which headed to the settlement of the Awori in current-day Lagos, then called Ékò by the Benin people and demanded an explanation. 
On getting there, Ado and his army were more than well received, the Awori from Lagos ask the Benin prince Ado to stay and become their leader. Ado agreed, on the condition that they surrender their sovereignty to the Oba of Benin, to which the Awori people Lagos applied. 
Upon hearing this, the Oba of Benin gave his permission for the Prince Ado and the expedition to remain in Ékò with the Awori. The Oba of Benin then later sent some of his Chiefs, including the Eletu Odibo Obanikoro and others to assist Ado in the running of Ékò.

From the crowing of Ado as Oba, Lagos (then called Ékò) served as the major center of slave-trade, from which the Oba of Benin Ado and all other successors for over four centuries supported until 1841, when Oba Akintoye ascended to the throne attempted to ban slave-trading.
Local merchants strongly opposed the intended move and disposed and exiled the king and installed Akitoye's brother Kosoko as Oba 
At exile in Europe, Akitoye met the British authorities, who had banned slave-trading in 1807, and who therefore decided to support the dispose Oba to regain his throne. With the success of the British intervention, in 1857 Akitoye was reinstalled as Oba of Lagos. In practical terms, however, British influence over the kingdom had become absolute, and ten years later, in 1861, Lagos was formally annexed as a British colony 


Lagos means "lakes" in Portuguese. Language of first European settlers known to visit the settlement, then already inhabited by Awori in 1472. From the first contacts with the region until the early 20th century, another Portuguese nome for the city that was interchangeably used was "onim" finally abandoned in favor of Lagos. 
Modern-day was founded by the Bini in the 16th century. It was later called Ékò. The Portuguese explorer Ruy de sequeira who visited the area in 1472, named the area around the city "lago de curamo". Alternate explanation is that Lagos was named for Lagos, Portugal- a maritime town to which at the main center of the of the Portuguese expedition down the Africa coast and whose own name is derived from the Celtic word Lacobriga. 

 Note: This post first appear on Eyes Of Lagos

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