African History

Commercial City Of Lagos – Brief History

A sangomaLagos city (image credit: twitter.com)
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The commercial hub city of Lagos was originally the home of the Awori clan of the Yoruba kingdom in the 15th century with Oko as their name.

The name ‘Lagos‘ was said to come from the early Portuguese settlers who arrived in the area. According to an unverified account, Lagos was named by a Portuguese Rui de Sequeira, an explorer that sailed to the area in 1472, while another account stated that the name came from a maritime town in Portugal, Lagos.

In the 16th century, the Awori area was invaded by the Oba of Benin Empire, Oba Orhogba. They were conquered and the island became a war camp to the Benin Empire and they called it Eko.

Having started slaves by the Portuguese, the first Oba of Lagos and his successors supported the trade till Oba Akitoye took over the throne and tried putting an end to slavery. The local traders in the land opposed the agenda and sent him to an exile before crowning his brother, Kosoko the new Oba.

The exiled Akitoye met with the British that previously banned slavery in 1807 and reported, not only did they help him regain his throne in 1851 and ban the slave trade.
The British activities became visible and before 1861, Lagos was already a British colony. After establishing a colony and protectorate in Nigeria, Lagos was made its capital in 1914.



The British, in the 19th century, fought off the Portuguese, French, and Americans and imposed an anti-slavery treaty with West African regional chiefs…

The city, after Lagos State was created, became the first capital city but was later shifted to Ikeja in 1976 to while the federal capital was shifted to Abuja on the 27th of May 1976.

Lagos being the capital of Nigeria gets administered direct the Federal Government while the Lagos City Council was in charge of Lagos City.
Lagos, Agege, Ikorodu, Ikeja, Mushin, Epe, and Badagry were clustered together to form Lagos State.
To date, Lagos is still the commercial hub of Nigeria.

After Kosoko’s threat on 30th June 1861, the Acting Consul, William McCoskry, and Commander Bedingfield called meeting with Oba Dosunmu.
However, Oba Dosunmu rejected the terms on the treaty,

Bedingfield threatened to cause chaos in Lagos, so he signed the treaty on 6th August 1861.


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Buchi Prinzy Henry
A lazy writer, and a freelancer. An African who believes in reviving back the African history and tradition back to our memories. Mental emancipation is my mission. I write on History Category at 54history.com

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