Oldest history books say Yoruba not Benin founded Lagos - Watchtower media

Oldest history books say Yoruba not Benin founded Lagos

The debate over who founded Lagos has been around for some time, with different commentators giving varying views on the founder of the fast-developing coastal state.

A recent debate was stirred by a comment made by the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, during his visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina, in November.

The Benin monarch had said that his ancestors founded Lagos – “maybe the nucleus of Lagos” – a comment which has since sparked reactions from several Nigerians.

“It is in the history books that the Binis founded Lagos. When some people will hear it now, they will go haywire; what is the Oba saying there again? But it is true. Go and check the records. Maybe not all over Lagos as we know it now but certain areas in Lagos, maybe the nucleus of Lagos, were founded by my ancestors,” Oba Ewuare II said, adding, “The Oba of Lagos will say so.”

Indeed, sometime in May 2017, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, said Benin founded Lagos.

Following the criticism of Oba Akiolu’s refusal to shake hands with the Ooni of Ife at a function by several commentators, the Iga Idugaran, Palace of the King of Lagos, had released a statement quoting Oba Akiolu that the “Modern day Lagos was founded by Prince Ado, a son of the Oba of Benin.”
“I was told by my late paternal grandmother, who was a descendant of Oba Ovonranwen Nogbaisi, and with facts from historical books, let me share this knowledge with you all on Eko or Lagos, as it is popularly called.

“Modern-day Lagos was founded by Prince Ado, the son of the Oba of Benin. Prince Ado was the first Oba of Lagos, and he was the one who named the town Eko, until the Portuguese explorer, Ruy de Segueira, changed the maritime town to Lagos, which at that time from 1942 was a Portuguese expedition centre down the African Coast,” the monarch was quoted as saying.

However, some Lagos traditional rulers, academics, and, indeed, the oldest history books disagree with the Oba of Benin and Oba of Lagos’ position on who the founders of Lagos were.

The Balogun of Eko, Abisoye Oshodi, in a viral video, faulted the claim by the Oba Ewuare II that the Binis founded Lagos.

In a video shared recently online, the Lagos chief said, “With all due respect to the Oba of Benin, Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II; Sir, may you live long.

“Point of correction Sir, Lagos was never founded by the Binis. I am glad that you said some parts of Lagos, not the entire Lagos. You are right, your ancestors settled on a small Island that was called Eko then, before the creation of Lagos. On this very Island, they never created it.

“The Island had been there before the arrival of your ancestors. Your ancestors only came and forcefully imposed a taxation system on transit with the traders on the land called Idu Igaran, whatever that means in Benin, I do not know, but there have been other tribes on the Island before the creation of Lagos, even before the creation of Eko.

“We have the Aworis, we have the Isheris, we have the Olofins; so many tribes have been in Lagos, or the modern Lagos now before the creation of Lagos State.”

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