In the past thirty years, Lagos set about renaming streets for Nigerian personalities as opposed to the British personalities they were named for before. Personally, I believe that was the wrong move as changing the name erases the history that these names carry.
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Many of the characters whose names adorn our streets now are not even the most historically significant especially some of the oldest streets in Lagos. Here are some of the few that still bear their original names in Lagos and the figures they are named after.
1. Osborne Road
This is one of the most important roads in Ikoyi’s suburb and a linkage to the Third Mainland Bridge. It was named for Willoughby Osborne who was chief judge in the southern protectorate from 1906-1913.
2. Moloney Street
3. Cameron Road
A residential abode within Ikoyi, the street was named after Donald Charles Cameron, former governor-general of colonial Nigeria from 1931-35.
4. Bourdillion Road
The road links old Presidential Road (Awolowo Road) in Ikoyi and was named after Cameron’s successor, Bernard Bourdillon (1935-43).
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5. Denton Bridge
Denton Bridge was one of the oldest infrastructures in the state and it is located on Iddo Island. Denton Street is also located in Lagos Island and both were named for Lord George Chadin Denton, colonial secretary in 1900.
6. Clifford Street
Now called Murtala Muhammad Way in Yaba, it was named after the former Governor of Nigeria, Sir Hugh Clifford.
7. MacGregor Street, Ikoyi
William MacGregor was colonial governor of the colony of Lagos from 1899 to 1904. He is remembered for how he combatted malaria amongst the natives of Lagos.
8. Thompson Avenue, Ikoyi
The street was named after Sir Clifford’s successor, Graeme Thompson who was governor in 1925.
9. Macpherson Avenue, Ikoyi
Located off Bourdillion, the road named after John Macpherson who was responsible for the ground-breaking 1951 constitution that introduced Nigeria to federalism.
10. Alexander Avenue
This linkage connects Bourdillion and Gerard in Ikoy and is largely residential as it has always been. The road was named for Cyril Wilson Alexander who was governor of the southern protectorates/provinces from 1929-1930.
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