- Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 governorship election in Lagos, has shared an article detailing the first settler in Lagos
- The article, which was written by Femi Okunni, a prominent lawyer, indicated that the Awori people, a sub-group of the Yoruba, moved from Ile Ife to settle down in Eko first
- Okunnu further revealed 13 title holders who are landowners in Lagos before the invasion by the Benin people, who later introduced the system of Obaship in the Yoruba state
Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party flagbearer in the March 18 governorship election in Lagos state, has shared a long narrative documenting the first settler in Lagos written by Femi Okunnu, a prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In a long academic discourse on his X, formerly Twitter, page, the narrative indicated that the first settlers of Lagos were the Aworis while mentioning 13 “Idejo” (class of chiefs), who are landowners who settle in different parts of Lagos.
According to the article shared by the Labour Party chieftain, the class of chiefs are Olumegbon, Oluwa, Oniru, Onisemo, Oloto, Aromire, Elegushi, Ojomu, Onikoyi, Onisiwo, Ojora, Onitolo, and Onitana.
While citing evidence for his claim above, Okunnu maintained that it was after the invasion of Lagos by the Bini that the title of Oba was introduced.
How minority in Old Western Region writes colonial master to make Lagos part of Southwest
He went further to posit that the minority in the Old Western Region wrote to the colonial secretary to merge Lagos with the Western Region, and their request was acceded, a move which the majority voted against.
The senior advocate wrote:
"Eleven delegates however, including Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Oni of Ife, Bode Thomas, Akinpelu Obisesan, S.O. Awokoya, Adegunle Soetan, M.A. Ajasin, T.A. Bankole, Chief Ogunlana II, C.D. Akran and Arthur Priest submitted a minority report urging the British Government to merge Lagos Colony with the Western Region (4). Except for Chief Ogunlana, the Obanikoro of Lagos, and the Oni of Ife, all of them were foundation members of the Action Group."
He then said that:
"In 1954, under the Lyttleton Constitution, Lagos City regained its independence from the West and became the Federal Territory (and a constituent unit of the Federation) until the creation of Lagos State in May 1967 when the Colony province (Epe, Badagry and Ikeja) rejoined the city to constituent Lagos state in General Yakubu Gowon’s Twelve State structure to replace the four regions under the 1963 constitution."
A quick check on Wikipedia showed that the Aworis are Yoruba aboriginal who speak a variant of the Yoruba dialect. They migrated to Lagos from Ile Ife. They can be found in some parts of Ogun state, particularly in the Ado-Odo/Otta local government area.
See the tweet here: