The question of which tribe owns Lagos has been a subject of varying answers, arguments, and interpretations from different scholars, indigenes, and foreigners. While some argue that it belongs to the Yorubas, others claim it is owned by the Bini, and some maintain that Lagos doesn’t belong to any one tribe. If you’re curious to learn more about the ownership of Lagos, keep reading.
Lagos, a city located in the southwestern part of Nigeria, is renowned for its rich tapestry of cultures and traditions. The city is often referred to as ‘no man’s land’ due to its diverse population, made up of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and traditions.
To uncover the true history of the city’s origin, one must first acknowledge the tribe that discovered the megacity and its role in shaping its early foundation. In this article, we’ll explore the tribe that owns Lagos.
Which Tribe Owns Lagos: History of Lagos
Lagos is a bustling metropolis with a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world and also one of the most populated.
The creation of Lagos can be traced back to significant parts of history, as far back as the 15th century. According to historical accounts, the Awori people, an indigenous Yoruba tribe, were the original inhabitants of Lagos.
They migrated through the Oyo Empire to the coastal areas around the Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, where they established their settlements. While they were the first to settle, we cannot say for certain that they are the true owners of Lagos.
Before we delve further, let’s first understand the areas that makeup Lagos. Lagos was initially established as a port city by the Portuguese, and local government areas such as Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Amuwo-Odofin, and Apapa were founded.
As the city continued to expand, other areas such as the modern-day Lagos Mainland, Surulere, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, etc. were also discovered. This expansion and continuous urbanization led to the present-day division of Lagos into two distinct parts: The Lagos Mainland and The Lagos Island. Lagos Island holds important historical significance as it was the epicenter of Portuguese exploration in the 15th century and became a hub for trade and commerce during the colonial era.
Moving on to the historical significance of the Bini people in the creation of Lagos, the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century, led by Rui de Sequeira, caused a significant change in the history of the Awori people. Lagos was named by Rui de Sequeira, and it likely originated from the Portuguese word ‘lago’ which means ‘lakes’. The Portuguese established a port in Lagos and began trading with the Awori people and other indigenes in the region.
According to some historical books, the Bini people ‘conquered’ the Awori people and ‘took over’ some parts of Lagos in the 16th century, calling those parts ‘Eko’.
However, it’s uncertain whether the Bini people ever ‘conquered” Lagos, due to the complexity of these historical interactions. Today, it is believed that the Oba of Benin, one of the most respected monarchs in West Africa, had some influence over the creation of ‘Eko’.
Also, during the transatlantic slave trade, headed by the British, people from various tribes were brought to Lagos. The city became a hub for the slave trade, with tribes like the Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, and many others playing a role.
After Nigeria’s independence, Lagos witnessed rapid economic development and urbanization in the 1960s and 1970s. This led to the migration of people from different tribes into the state, seeking better opportunities, employment, and education.
Today, we cannot attribute the ownership of Lagos to just one tribe alone, as the city has become a melting pot of different ethnic groups, influenced by complex historical events.
However, the Bini, Awori people, Portuguese, and British colonial rule all played a role in shaping Lagos and creating this modern city that is welcoming to all cultures from all over the world.