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Lagos @ 50: A Brief History of Lagos

This month in Nigeria’s history, on the 27th of May 1967, Lagos State was created along with 11 other states by the Gowon Regime to preempt the secession of Biafra. Its first Governor was Brigadier Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson.

Originally Lagos belonged to the Aworis who now occupy the Lagos-Badagry stretch but the City-State had long been a trading post and vassal of the Benin Empire and later a colony of the British Crown from 1862  after it surrendered under the threat of hostility on August 6, 1861.

Lagos was Nigeria’s capital from inception in 1960 until 1991, the seat of government for two civilian administrations and five military juntas. The city has witnessed its fair share of our national history and bears many sites, emblems and monuments to this respect.

Lagos, Portuguese word for ‘lakes’, bears more than one name from its many occupants. The Binis called her, ‘Eko’ meaning ‘war camp’. It was from here that they made war to extend the Benin Empire at its height all the way to Dahomey. In actuality, the Portuguese explorer Ruy de Sequeira called her, Lago de Curamo as far back as 1492. Today, we call her in popular culture, Lasgidi.

Being born in the very heart of Lagos, just in front of City Hall and bred in many parts of the city, one can tell my affinity to this beautiful, bustling city, even though I am neither Awori nor Yoruba.

One thing is certain though, if you can live here, you can live anywhere. Eko o gba gbere. I love my Lagos.

Now celebrate with me as we celebrate this beautiful city we call home. Happy 50th Anniversary Lagos.


#Lagos@50 #LagosJubilee #IloveMyLagos #Lasgidi

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Nehikhare Omotayo Igbinijesu is an Economist, Poet, and Social Entrepreneur. 'He is the author of The Code: A Simple Story About Raising Great Women' and 'Marriage: 12 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Say, “I Do”'. He lives in Lagos with his wife, Akudo and two sons. He is Co-founder of Stuffsilos.com, a motivational resources company based in Lagos. You can email him via nehijesu [at] yahoo.co.uk

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