However, amidst its dynamic narrative, a contentious assertion lingers – the notion that Lagos is a “no man’s land,” detached from any specific ethnic group. This claim not only distorts historical truths but also eclipses the profound connection the Yoruba people have with this city.
Here are seven compelling reasons challenging the misconception that Lagos lacks an ethnic heritage, demonstrating unequivocally that it belongs to the Yoruba people.
1. Awori, The Yoruba Roots Of Lagos.
The origins of Lagos trace back to the Awori people, a subset of the Yoruba ethnic group.
Settling in the region circa the 14th century, the Awori established a thriving fishing community, laying the foundation for the city’s evolution into a bustling center of commerce and culture. Despite its cosmopolitan nature, Lagos retained the Yoruba imprint on its history and societal fabric.
2. The Oba Of Lagos – A Yoruba Custodian.
The esteemed Oba of Lagos stands as a paramount figure in Yorubaland’s monarchy. Responsible for upholding cultural legacies and fostering economic growth, the current Oba, Rilwan Akiolu, boasts ancestral ties deeply rooted in Lagos’ inception, further solidifying the Yoruba heritage of the city.
3. Yoruba Language Dominance.
Yoruba language permeates the essence of Lagos. Widely spoken, it serves as the primary means of communication among its diverse populace, underscoring the integral role of Yoruba culture in shaping the city’s identity.
4. Cultural Richness Anchored in Yoruba Traditions.
The vibrant cultural tapestry of Lagos finds its roots intertwined with Yoruba traditions. From festivals and ceremonies to the realm of art and music, Yoruba influence pervades the societal ethos of Lagos.
Eminent Yoruba artists, writers, and musicians have left an indelible mark on the city’s cultural landscape.
5. Yoruba’s Pivotal Role in Lagos’ History.
The annals of Lagos’ history bear witness to the significant contributions of the Yoruba people.
Their resilience, from defending the city against colonial incursions to their pivotal role in international trade and the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, remains an integral part of Lagos’ narrative.
6. Living Yoruba Traditions.
The spirit of Yoruba culture thrives in Lagos, evident through the celebration of enduring traditions like the annual Eyo festival.
These cultural festivities serve as poignant reminders of the profound connection between the Yoruba people and the city of Lagos.
7. Yoruba Population Dynamics.
Despite the city’s exponential growth, the Yoruba community remains a substantial segment of Lagos’ populace.
Accounting for over 21% of the city’s population as per the 2006 Nigerian census, the Yoruba community stands as the second-largest ethnic group, reaffirming their enduring presence in the city’s fabric.
The assertion that Lagos is a “no man’s land” is unequivocally contradicted by historical facts and the vibrant presence of the Yoruba people. Lagos isn’t devoid of ethnic heritage; it resonates profoundly with the cultural essence of the Yoruba, weaving their legacy into the very fabric of this thriving metropolis.