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History Behind Some Popular Cities In Lagos

Lagos with a population of about 20 million residents living in this great city has its history. Even though it is widely said that Lagos is a no-man's land, the truth, however, is that Lagos has its history, culture, and tradition.

Virtually all places and streets in Lagos have stories and histories attached to them. Some places like Oju-ere, Makoko, Ojuelegba, Obalende among others have reasons why they are named that way.

Just as a typical Yoruba state, the Yorubas don't name a child, place without pointing to a reason. For example, parents that named that daughter Yetunde or Iyabo means either the mother of the dad/mom died before giving birth to the child, the name Yetunde means Mother has returned.

There are some places in Lagos with names behind the scene but we forgot the source of these names thereby we modernized them in our way or how best we felt we can pronounce them.

AutoReportNG did some finding on some popular street names, locations and the history behind them... Read below.

1 Ojota

Ojota used to be a military settlement in the late 18th century and soldiers practised their shooting there. The area had several gun firing spots and became known as “Oju Ota” in Yoruba which means “Bullet spots”. It later metamorphosed into Ojota which it is called now.

2. Abule Egba

This area is on the outskirts of Lagos and got its name from the early settlers who were Egba people from Abeokuta. The area was first called “Abule awon egba” in Yoruba, which means “Village of Egba people”. It later became “Abule Egba”.

3. Apongbon

Apongbon is one of Lagos’ most popular markets, and it’s also quite close to the popular Oke-Arin market. It got its name from the then acting governor of the Lagos colony, William McCloskey, who had a Red Beard. The Yorubas who couldn’t pronounce the colonial governor’s name decided to describe him by his red beard and started calling him “Oyinbo to pon ni agbon” (Apon l'agbon) meaning a red-bearded man. It later became Apongbon.

4. Magodo

Magodo is now a posh area, but in the past, it used to be sacred land. The residents had a lot of taboos and one of them was to avoid using mortars and pestles, “Ma gun odo” which means “Don’t pound it”. It later became Magodo

5. Epetedo

Epe is named after the early settlers who were Epe traders. The area became dominated by the Epes and they still trade there until today.

6. Ebute-Metta

Ebute-Metta is one of the earliest harbour docks where British ships berthed at. It was a hub for trade and commerce in colonial times. Ebute-Metta is a fusion of the words “Ebute” which means the seaside in Yoruba, and “Metta” which means three. The three shores are Iddo, Otto, and Oko baba.

7. Broad Street

Broad street used to be one of the longest and widest streets in the city. It got its name from its broadness. However, Broad Street was later changed to Yakubu Gowon Street but later changed back to Broad street when Gowon was accused of participating in the coup that led to the death of Murtala Ramat Mohammed.

8. Agidingbi

The British Naval forces invaded Lagos in 1885 under the pretext of stopping slavery and human sacrifice. The noise their canon made was really loud, and the sound was heard round the streets of Lagos Island. The people described the sound as “A gidi n gbinnn”. Which means a loud groundbreaking noise. The name Agidingbi was borne out of this.

9. Victoria Island

Victoria Island was also a major hub for commerce and British ships berthed there often. It’s named after Queen Victoria of England who was Queen from 1837-1901.

10. Ikeja

Ikeja, the capital of Lagos, is actually an abbreviation for “Ikorodu And Epe Joint Administration”, IKEJA. It was coined by the colonial masters for ease of administration.”

Coming shortly, the history of Yaba, Surulere, Okota, Mushin, Idimu, Alakuko, Ikorodu, Epe, Ajangbadi, Ojo, Ijeshatedo, Orile, Ijora, Apapa, and Ojuelegba.

I hope you find this info useful.

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