EXPLOSIVE: Lagos Is Not Yoruba Land, Says Oba Of Lagos, Oba Akiolu


Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu

Coming from the palace, with what I was told by my late paternal grandmother who is a descendant of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi. Also reading from factual Historical books.
Let me share this Knowledge with you all on Eko/Lagos.
Modern-day Lagos was founded by Prince Ado, the son of the Oba of Benin, Prince Ado was the First Oba of Lagos, the son of the Bini King, Prince Ado, named the town Eko until the Portuguese explorer Ruy de Sequeira changed the Maritime town to Lagos, which at that time from 1942 was Portuguese expedition center down the African Coast.
It was a major centre of the slave trade until 1851. Lagos was annexed by Britain via the Lagos treaty of cession in 1861, ending the consular period and starting the British Colonial Period. The remainder of Modern-day Nigeria was seized in 1886 when the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria were established in 1914 Lagos was declared its Capital due to the struggle of the Bini King.
Lagos experienced growth pro to the British Colonial rule and even more rapid growth during the Colonial rule throughout the 1960s, 70s, continued through the 80s and 90s till date. Thanks to the Awori’s, Bini’s, Yoruba’s, migrants across the Nation and the world at large, as no particular group of people can take the Glory alone.
Lagos is made up of Lagoons and creeks. The Lagos lagoon, Lagos Harbour, five known creeks. Ebute-Metta creeks, Porto-Novo creeks, New canal, Badagry creeks, Kuramo waters and Lighthouse creeks.
The Awori’s and Bini’s are known to be the first settlers of the Eko Land. The Awori’s are speakers of a distinct dialect close to that of the Yoruba Language with a rich Bini mixture. Traditionally, Awori’s were found in Ile-Ife, they were known to be the Bini’s who followed their self-exiled Prince, the first son of the Ogiso (now called Oba) of the Benin Kingdom, whose Step-Mother was after his head.
The Exiled Benin Prince Izoduwa known to the Yoruba’s as Ooduwa (Oduduwa) was made the ruler of the Ife people due to his Powers and followers from the Great Benin-Kingdom.
Izoduwa (Ooduwa) was made the First King of Ile-Ife in 1230 AD. His followers from his father’s Kingdom in Benin are the today’s Awori people who settled in Eko now called Lagos.
In 1300, the King of Benin-Empire heard from one of his traders who was a settler in Eko on how the Bini’s were treated by the Awori’s who lived in their area. Upon hearing this the King of Benin commanded the assembling of a War expedition, lead by his Son Prince Ado, which headed the settlement of the Awori’s and demanded and explanation.
On arriving Eko, Prince Ado and his Army were more than received. The Awori’s asked the Bini Prince to stay and become their leader. Ado agreed on the condition that they surrender their sovereignty to the Oba of Benin, to which the people agreed.
Hearing this, the King of Benin gave his permission for Prince Ado and the expedition to remain in Eko.
The Oba of Benin sent some of his chiefs including the Eletu, Odibo, Obanikoro and others to assist his son Oba Ado in the running of Eko. From the crowning of Prince Ado as the First Oba of Lagos (then called Eko) Lagos served as a major center for slave trade from which the Awori’s, the Oba of Benin and his son the Oba of Lagos and all the children/descendants who took over as his successors for over four centuries supported the trade.
The Oba of Benin was head of the Benin-Empire which are present day Western, Southern and Eastern modern- day Nigeria.
The King never obliged anyone to speak the Bini language as he believed everyone was entitled to their own choice of language.
The name Eko was given to it by the First King of Lagos Oba Ado, the young and vibrant Prince from Benin. Eko was the Land now known as Lagos Island, where the king Palace was built. The palace is called IDUNGARAN meaning “palace built on pepper farm” Oba Ado and the Warriors from Benin together with the early Bini’s settlers in Eko and the Awori people settled in the Southern part of Eko called “Isale Eko”. “Isale literally means bottom “. Must have been used to indicate downtown (as in downtown Lagos)
Until the coming in of the Benin’s 1300AD, Lagos geographical boundary was Lagos mainland, Lagos Island, the seat of the Oba of Lagos then consisted of a pepper farm and fishing post. No one was living there.
About 1450 AD some Yoruba’s who hailed from Isheri in Ogun-State and Ekiti were allowed by the King to settle in Eko during a war, they came in very large numbers thereby surpassing the numbers of the Awori’s and Bini’s. (Hence Yorubas claim to own Eko due to their numbers).
Oba Ado fell in love with a beautiful woman whose father was Awori and mother a daughter to one of the chiefs, they had two sons and also a daughter Erelu Kuti, who begat Ologun Kutere who later became King.
Oba Akintoye descendant of Prince Ado whose mother was the First Queen from Awori ascended the throne as Oba of Lagos in 1841, he attempted to ban slave trade with the help of the British, but the local merchant, the Aworis, Binis and a few Yorubas who was already integrated and married to Aworis and Binis strongly opposed the intended move and deposed and exiled the King and installed Akintoye’s brother Kosoko as Oba. In exile in Europe, Akintoye met with British authorities who had earlier banned slavery in 1807 and the British decided to support the deposed Oba to regain his throne.
With the success of the British intervention in 1851, Akintoye was reinstalled as Oba of Lagos. In practical terms, however, the British influence over the Benin Empire had become absolute, then years later in 1861 Lagos was formally annexed as a British colony. This led to the fight of the British and the Bini King, the leader of the Benin empire for years, which finally led to the fall of the empire and the capturing of Oba Ovonramwen.
Oba Akintoye of Lagos was the first Oba not to be buried in Benin. Prior to this all the kings of Lagos were buried in Benin. They passed on taxes to the Oba of Benin until the British settled in Lagos.
Until today, the Oba of Lagos is the head of all the Obas in Lagos because the Binis believe that whatever they or their offsprings are they are senior.The status of the Oba of Lagos is different from other Obas most of whom were given back their crowns and staff of office only within 40 years ago.
Those who got their lands back was the original land owners, and they were mostly descendants of Prince Ado and other children of Olofin.

60 thoughts on “EXPLOSIVE: Lagos Is Not Yoruba Land, Says Oba Of Lagos, Oba Akiolu

  1. Tunji Adedeji says:

    Thank you Sir for the detailed history of Eko and Lagos in his entirety. This is a comprehensive history from our royal father. May you live forever sir. The additional history we read from ancient books is the fact that the first Oba of Benin itself was Oramiyan. fully known as Oranmiyan Omoluabi Odede, prince of Ife, the last born of Oduduwa. After Oramiyan was Eweka 1 (1180 to 1247), and Ovoranwe Nogbaisi who ruled from 1887 to 1914 was the 36th Oba of Benin.

    • Oramiyan was never the first King of Benin, If Izoduwa known to the Yoruba’s as Ooduwa, being an exiled prince from Benin and the first King or Ooni of Ife, how would his son Oramiyan be the first king of Benin? To me, it doesn’t add up.

        • Anonymous says:

          We have 36 ogiso before the coming of oromiyan….yes he was the first oba of Benin we have two dynasty,ogiso and oba.oranmiyan was the son of oduduwa….oduduwa was a prince in benin Kingdom…oduduwa was sent on exile from benin…he found himself at ile ife where he settled.

          • Ok.Emmanuel says:

            This is indeed,a historical prevailed,and am happy to hear from the custodian of the stool himself… finally truth is here with us.

    • Johnson Dennis says:

      That history and its author told lies. A well established kingship system existed in Benin for well over two thousand years before the Ikaladeran’s saga!

      If for the purpose of arguments, was Ikaladeran’s father not a king of Benin before him? Are you aware that Oronmiyan was restricted to Usen by Evian and his son after him who ran a transitional government after the death of Owodo, the father of Ikaladeran (the mythical Yaraba Oduduwa) for over 30 years?

      Do you think the change of dynasty from Ogie Oghe Oriso (Ogiso), which means trusteeship of God’s kingdom on earth to Oba (Omo N’oba N’Edo) which means the glory of Benin suggest that kingship started with the Oba dynasty in Benin?

      You need to read more, from independent authors, prefarably.

      If you need physical facts of what you have just read, consult the Benin institute. They will not only take you on a voyage of history never known to you but will show you landmarks from those events.


    Oba Akiolu is a poor student or graduate of History!He needs to consult widely and extensively if he is not sure.The records are there for everyone who cares to see.A drowning king should not be so desperate and shouldexercise caution in attempting to forge alliance with another king outside is tribe.He should not destroy the culture and tradition of his people just to gain cheap popularity and relevance among people who are not his people.The conduct and utterances of a kind in his domain is what determines whether he will command general acceptance from his people and respect by non indigines.Lagos is part of Yoruba kingdom and south west Nigeria.No amount of distortion of facts will erase truth.No king has the right to ridicule his people and attempt to rubish Yoruba History,culture and tradition.Among the comity of Obas and comity of yoruba towns/kingdoms,such an Oba must be call to order.

    • Osaghae says:

      I urge you to humble yourself and learn sir and not to castigate some else for his opinion.


        The vast communities,towns and villages are headed by Obas, bales and chiefs.The towns and villages yorubas as their indigenes.The benin people came to Lagos and were assimilated in to the Yoruba tradition and culture and they started bearing Yoruba names.No yoruba man has ever been named a benin name in Lagos.Let’s read between the lines!What is the percentage of Yorubas that lives in Lagos and what is the percentage of benin people that lives in Lagos?There is no need to continue this debate.Events and further evolution as well as future coronations of Oba of Lagos will will reveal the ownership/true indigenes of Lagos.Looking at the geographical expressions of Lagos alone shows Lagos is in Yoruba Land.The influx of other tribes to Lagos was due to the fact that Lagos is a coastal city and also because Lagos used to be Capital of Federal Republic of Nigeri.But for these two factors,Lagos would have remained a city populated by over 95% Yorubas.

        • uyigue says:

          it is a truism to deduce that lagos is not a yoruba land. these fasts have always been there right from onset, it is just that some historical defiants who claim to be authorities on the subject matter have been trying to distort original history even when empirical facts are very clear and lucid. this history is explicit enough to be assimilated by every unbiased intellectual of history and culture. The narrative of the Oba lagos on the primordial relationship between the Binis and his throne can’t be washed away despite the fact that there exist some little dichotomy in form of language and other cultural elements between the two nations (tribes). the facts still remain original that lagos is not a yoruba town. Oba Akiolu is the custodian of the people’s culture and history. the first class information about his throne and culture would always come from him. its not for anyone to challenge his jurisdiction on what he knows best, i thank his boldness and courage for this unfrequented revelation to the general public

          • Omo obokun says:

            What does he know best? Before the arrival of Benin people to Lagos there are settlers already, Lagos was not forestry area, whosoever came from Benin was welcomed by the original settlers of Lagos no matter how powerful he was, let call a spade a spade, oba Akiolu predecessor never underrated or underestimated Yoruba people.. is it because what happened between Oono of ode and ova Akiolu made him to come out with this unwelcomed history to the new generations? Obama became American president no one care about the history., what is the landscape of Lagos island compares to all other parts of what is called Lagos today, esimi agbaja, e jawo lapon ti o yo, ke lo gbomi ila kanan. I am a king in my own kingdom.

        • Anonymous says:

          I ask you Mr. Obakayode, is ‘ OBA ‘ the name of a king in Yoruba or ‘ Oni ‘ . and if not why the king in Lagos is having such Benin name as a king in your so called Yoruba land ?

    • onaiwu edos lucky says:

      D Oba took time to analyze d history of Lagos to d best of his knowledge.lf u have a contrary history of Lagos take time also to briefly analyze ur own,let us c whose history tells d right one.

    • Osifo, Osaretin says:

      Before the Kings of Benin Kingdom where called Oba. They were known as Ogiso of Benin. Excuse my spelling. Meaning ruler of the sky. Oduduwa was the son of Ogiso king of Benin Kingdom. His son who came back to Benin was know Oba. Starting the rule of Oba’s. So my friends you are not wrong when you said the 1st Oba of Benin was Oramiyan. The Yoruba’s need to understand the distinction between the title Oba and Ogiso of Benin. Ogiso was pre Oba. The Title was changed by Oduduwa descendant. Oduduwa was the exiled son of Ogiso. The former title of the King of Benin before they where know as Oba’s.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bcos oba of lagos said the truth? We all knows the truth that lagos is not own by the yorubas hahaha. All hail great biafra.



  4. Patience Neburagho says:

    I believe Oba Akiolu.
    Happy to know that the Oba was not hurt in the inferno that occurred at his palace.
    K’ade o pe l’ori , ki bats o pe l’ese. Kabiyesi o.
    Wishing the Oba long life and good health.


    Lagata should go back to school to study the history of Lagos very well, before the bini came to Eko there are people in Eko though i was not born then but i was part of that historical play about Lagos and with the script given then even when the bini’s arrived Lagos there was a kind fight between them and the then Lagoshians but later settled before they finally settled in Lagos. Why this history now, why didn’t his predecessors come out to say what he is saying now? I have always known oba Akiolu to be a proud person, this is coming out because the present ooni is younger and in high authority and he doesn’t want to give him that respect being the person he knows too well before ascending the throne.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its a lie oba of lagos say the truth. Lagos is not own by yorubas we all have seen the truth. All hail great biafra.

      • Lucy Okagbare says:

        Wetin Concern Biafra with this matter now. Abi una wan claim ownership of Lagos ni? Oya make u tell us the Biafran Verson o. Intruder

        • Anonymous says:

          Biafrans don’t have anything to do with your so called Lagos which is not of Yorubas but Benin kingdom and developed by the Hebrews – ( igbos of Biafra . ) the real sons of God . Go and check it in every history the Igbos worship the supreme God ‘ Chukwu-Okike-Abiama ‘ . The only think the Yorubas can do is . using the Hebrews -Igbos to open churches in every city in the zoo called Nigeria , just to make money while their god is not original God, The god and religion of Yorubas is called ( Orisha ) ‘ Shango’- ‘ meaning ‘ Thunder ‘ the god of destroyer ‘ which you can see in their characters today through their so called media in the zoological country called Nigeria .

    • Omo obokun says:

      You are correct bro, either Oba Akiolu likes it or not ooni of ife will always be respected more than him everywhere, ile ti on toro, omo ale ibe ni ko tii dagba. Ennnn again I don’t know if Benin people came to Lagos with eyo masquerade,, pls help me ask our history lecturer?

  6. Olorogun Atanda says:

    The story of Kingship in Lagos started on Ashipa who is an Awori man,before the advent of Prince Ado & his bini warriors through the waterways!!! The Aworis consisting of all the Idejo clans are the original land owners of Lagos,both mainland & the island,they are the children of Ashipa who was the first king in Lagos. While Prince Ado became the first King of Lagos from the Bini clan, after Ashipa .

  7. Olusegun Emmanuel Fatunmbi says:

    Oba Akiolu should go back to school and learn more about history or better still meet with great history philosophers being an oba does not means that he his vast in history

  8. Anonymous says:

    what is the struggle here?
    is it about who owns lagos or how lagos came about.
    are we saying that the other nationalities who also came to lagos not by conquest or exil but by commerce in the seventeent and eighteent centuries through the river have no claims in the settlement saga?,,,the ijaws of bayelsa delta and rivers,the ibo merchants and the kanuris etc?
    I think credit should be given to the kabiesi for coming out with this kind of bold historical expose’ in his life time.Other aleyeluwas who reigned before him did not deem it fit to give lagosians this historical piece of this land of opportunity called lagos.As a natural leader he felt there is a moral burden on him to clear the air with this rare courageous expose.May God bless the kabiesi for this rich information
    For other contributors to this historical view of lagos,let us learn to be magnanimous in receiving historical lectures.If we have an opposing view,let us learn how to write it down like the oba has done.We should be humble in the way we address our elders not to talk of addressing a natural ruler.God has placed these people there for a purpose and for a time like this.And when we critique,let us try not to be antagonistic and insultive.I do not know the oba and have never met him but I am mindful of how I address elders not to talk of leaders but I think he has done a nice job in this regards.

    • I quite share your view. There is no contention over Lagos between the Binis and the Yorubas but it is however crystally clear that the Binis are linked to Lagos and the Yorubas. Except those who want to rewrite history, that fact cannot be expunged. It is therefore not sufficient ground to use foul words when His highness Oba Akiolu of Lagos threw light on the history of the Binis and the Yorubas.

      One of the unfortunate detriments of the social media is that everybody has unrestricted right to insult those who do not belong to their school of thought. For those who are responsible, opinions could be exchanged without resorting to offensive words or statements but for those who are morally decadent, ranting and cursing are their trademarks.

  9. Ogibila says:

    Well, history was removed from, our school curriculum and thus people have been discouraged from recognizing useful histories including those that make us distinct people among nations. The Oba being from pre-history-banned era was able to put down this interesting bundle knowledge, I think he deserve kudos. The hand cannot cover the moon (Aka ekpuchighi onwa).Unfortunately everything here in Nigeria is politics, Lagos will never again be called Benin Kingdom or Benin Empire so why all the insults. If someone has got a better history of the Eko wow oooo he is free to put it down in detail rather than raining abuses on the author of the excellent history.

  10. Okey Turner Iroegbu says:

    Long live the Oba of Lagos. As a historian I take delight in historical works but we should not forget the fact that the level of biasness determines the authenticity of any written history. The Oba might not be out of place because Benin history has passed through ages and well documented. What I want to quarrel with is the absence of the roles played by early Serrea Leonian settlers in Lagos.

  11. charles says:

    Crazy people with stupid histories. U all have food on ur table, that’s why u can remember all these trash. most of all these present king are in politics with at least a thin line that runs from the lowest political seat to the presidency. Most of them can define the word poverty but never had an experience of it….not even an iota of it. Hear my own history about lagos!! The prices of food stuffs are affordable in the year 2,000. Now right now, it has risen higher then the intensity of the sun in the summer time. All what they know is to sell land and demand taxes of different types. Can the kings and everyone of u remember the history of house rent within the period of 20yrs back , compared to now? Those unbelievable kings do sit with our politicians, have meetings with them and party with them. But none of them boast of fighting for the survival of their people. They only fight for posts. FOR UR INFORMATION!!!! 5 days ago, a 1year old girl died overnight as a result of heat accompanied with generator smoke (carbon 2oxide) . No power supply! U might be experiencing the same thing in ur house or palace, but remember that not everyone have the kind of ur opportunity. U an buy comfort for yourselves but not everyone can. Pls be a king that will have a forever history, the king that fought for his people in his days. U can’t do all, but do something that will keep u living in our hearts. Tnx.

  12. Johnson Omobhude says:

    The oba has said it all, he clearified most of the misconceptions about the history of benin and and its relationship with the ife and lagos. From him, the aworis are benins, the oduduwa and his descendants are benins. The cradle of yoruba history therefore takes its root from benin. I strongly believed the naration of the oba, because being a prince in the royal house, he knows better than the outsiders. His own side of the history is from father to son kind, back up with written historical records from generations beyond and not necesary dig up history being given to us by story tellers. His is more informative and credible because it is from the source. So long ashipa was an awori, he too was a benin man along with his descendants. The deception of old is over. No wonder most lagos streets have benin names.

  13. This whole saga is principally based on ethnic chauvinism and jingoism otherwise as we all know, every great city of the world is built from the contributions of so many different people who arrived at various times in the history of such a place. If Nigeria were to be enlightened and properly run all the contributors should be made to be part of the place and not by any particular ethnic group claiming the space and making others strangers. No one should be a stranger in a place like Lagos. Lagos is not just important because of being on the coastline but should be a unifying state or city for all Nigerians because they have all contributed in its building. We must not treat Lagos Like Sokoto or Abia, those are provincial states, Lagos is not. We have to see things in the context in which the King of Lagos said what he said. He must have better knowledge and has reeled out facts and figure that no one has countered. All we are reading here are emotional outbursts and wishful thinking. Like most things in this our lovely quagmire of a country. This is the only republic that I know that still has monarch. Lagos is too important for all this ethnic grandstanding. All who want the good of Lagos should stop all this we own Lagos nonsense because it will help no one.

  14. Anonymous says:

    OK all history accepted where did Benin originated from.?who founded d the tribe bini or they are just like gods some body should let us know,Yorubs said they are from ile I’ve through oduduwa,right,where did binis emanated from,from who&where?

    • uyigue says:

      do you think, there would be any need to start searching for other facts about the narratives done by the Oba himself. from whom do we get authentic facts from, he is the steward of their own history and culture. so looking else where would lead us going to black market to obtain the inferior knowledge about what has has been addressed and dealt with.

  15. Anonymous says:


  16. Ebhodaghe Monday says:

    When truth is said some people will want to commit suicide. The binis is one of the oldest acient city in nigeria. The oba has a vivid account of how lagos started. If you have your own account,back it with dates just as oba Akiolu has done.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We should not be oblivious of the fact that Akiolu is an ex police officer and we know the features of a typical Nigerian Police.They thwart and twist fact to implicate their preys!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    An Oba humiliates another Oba few weeks later he published an account of his historical descent. Something is fishy. Truth cannot be covered.

  19. Anon says:

    Even the Oba of Lagos in his distorted history admits that the palace in Lagos is called ‘Iga Iduganran ‘ The word ‘Iganran’ is an Ijebu word for pepper which he also admits ! How come his so called Benin ancestors gave their palace an Ijebu name and not a Benin name ? If you read the history of the Ijebus, you’ll find that the land of the Awujale of Ijebu Land extended to the coast from Ijebu Ode and encompasses Lagos to Dahomey in Benin Republic before the bloody British came to colonise the whole place and cause all this confusion. I think the Oba of Lagos should swallow his pride, say sorry to the Ooni of Ife, the acknowledged cradle of the Yoruba race and trying to rewrite history.

  20. Gabriel Ebagun says:

    We now know why the Oba of Lagos snubbed the Oni of Ife recently. One thing is clear, the Yoruba history will not complete without the mention of the Binis and vice versa. The Binis and the Yorubas are interwoven in every area be it in culture, religion etc they are inseparable and nobody can break the bond. To further confirm this bond, the Olori of the present Ooni is a daughter of a Bini high chief. This is not a mistake but by divine design.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I AM Prince osazee I was told by my father we the Benin no about this history more than this

  22. don1 says:

    until today, Average Benin man can trace his history and ancestors back to 200 years, because it is passed from father to son and so on. i am 35 years old, i only knew my grand father, from history, i know his grandfather.

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