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Lagos  

David Aradeon

[Yoruba Eko]

Capital city of Nigeria, on the Gulf of Guinea. Aerial photography reveals a mosaic of land use patterns: large traditional compound spaces in such neighbourhoods as Oke Arin and Oshodi are separated, by British urban planning norms, from the ‘garden city’, one-acre lots in Ikoyi and Ikeja, where the colonial officers lived. Tenuous roads and bridges link Lagos Island with the mainland, including Apapa, through Iddo Island, on which the railway terminal and old Ijora power station are sited.

Lagos has a dual heritage, based first on the Idejo, land-owning chiefs and descendants of the Awori Yoruba founders from Ife, and then on the Edos (see Edo), who established a military camp in the second half of the 16th century at Enu Owa. The crowning of an Oba of Lagos, or the capping of any white cap chief, depends on the performance of sacred rites at Enu Owa for both spiritual blessing and legal validity. Edo rule also instituted a political and social structure, of which the Prime Minister (Eletu Odibo) is the most important official....