Why Igbos can not be non-indigenes in Lagos — Umeagbalasi
It is correct to say that ‘transformed’ and ‘untransformed’ Retreatist Osun State-born “Lagosians” are dangerously breeding insurgency in Lagos State, Nigeria’s smallest land-massed and most populated sub-national entity. The ‘Retreatist’ Osun State-born “Lagosians” presently threatening lives and properties of defenseless nationalities in the state or any part thereof have been found to belong to a generation of those that left their state(s) of birth pauperized and uneducated and headed to Lagos in 1950 and 1960s or earlier or thereafter; assimilated and became part of Lagos street gangs including ‘street children’ and drug addicts (retreatists); commonly called “Alaayes” and “Area Boys”. While the ‘transformed retreatists’ among them became lucky and had access to formal education and wealth and ascended to the positions of authority, the ‘untransformed others have become their riotous foot-soldiers till date. The struggle against the military and return to civilian rule in 1999 shot the transformed ‘Retreatists’ among them into prominence including access to corridors of power in Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun states.
Their fanning the embers of ethnic or inter-tribal discords and sponsorship of political and group violence became well noticed in 2015 and 2019 and continued untamed and widespread in 2023. The insurgency-provoked attacks and violence targeted at Lagos indigenized old Eastern Nigerian Christian citizens for participating in legitimate political process and conscientiously voting candidates of their choice have gotten out of hand and reached a maddening stage; threatening to force the attacked into violent self defensive or defensive insurgency. By modern conflict theories, nobody or group has monopoly of violence as there are more than 1,000 forms of violence capable of being offensively or defensively used or deployed by person against another or property, especially when pushed to the wall. It has shockingly become traditional and election season ritual for the ‘transformed retreatist’ Osun State-born “Lagosians” to congregate, aggregate and arm their foot-soldiers (untransformed retreatists) to launch coordinated violent attacks against other defenseless nationalities resident in the state, leading to wanton destruction of lives and properties worth billions of naira. In all these, the country’s security agencies have conspiratorially continued to turn blind eyes and pretended as if nothing had happened.
The ‘Retreatist’ Osun State-born Lagosians” migration to Lagos has arisen on account of the fact that Lagos as a sub-national entity shares common boundaries with ‘Oduduwa or Yoruba States’ of Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti. Lagos had also pre-colonially played host to freed slaves and missionaries from Sierra Leone, Liberia, United Kingdom, United States, the Caribbean, Cuba, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, etc. It is instructive to note that before the founding of the throne of ‘Ooni of Ife’ (oldest throne in Oduduwa or Yoruba States) in present Osun State between the beginning 1200s and middle of 1250AD, the present Lagos was already founded by the Igbo-Bini Priest-Kingdoms (i.e. pre Ogiso/Ogiso Bini Dynasty: 650AD-1150AD, pre-Imperial Bini Dynasty: 1180AD-1440AD, Imperial Bini Dynasty: 1440AD-1897AD and Ominije-Ogele Dynasty in present Agbor: 701BC-1250-70AD). The ancient throne of ‘Eze-Nri (Pre-Christian Papacy), established around 1230BC with its Eze-Nri as “Pre-Christian Pontiff” wielded supernatural and political influences over the Dynasties above named including membership of their “Colleges of Cardinals”.
A Son Does Not Give Birth To A Male-Child Before His Father
The most annoying part of the incessancy of systematic and coordinated violent attacks on defenseless and unarmed Easterners in Lagos (Eko) whose forefathers and foremothers originally founded the area as far back as in the 13th Century AD is false claims by the ‘Retreatist Osun State-born “Lagosians” of ownership of Lagos and being “sons and daughters of the soil”. They have also resorted to constant violent attacks so as to cower, intimidate, oppress and suppress other nationalities in the state. It must be historically noted and pointed out that “Eko” is Bini language meaning ‘war camp’. The area was spots for trade exchanges and diplomatic border post contacts during Saharan and Atlantic Slave Trades. ‘Eko’ originally served as war camps for Pre Colonial and pre Berlin Conference eras’ inter-empire wars within Nigeria and beyond between Igbo-Bini Imperial armies and empires of Dahomey (Benin Republic), Ashante (Ghana), Togo, Songhai (Senegal, Gambia), Ivory Coast, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), etc. Totality of the above has lent credence to the fact that a son can never marry and beget a male child before his father; if not who then is his father?
Throne of Eze Nri-Priest Kingship Is 2,885 Years Older Than Throne of Oba of Lagos
The People of Old Eastern Nigeria particularly the Igbo People are the oldest People in Nigeria with oldest Priest-Kingship Dynasties (the thrones of Eze-Nri and Eze-Ora of Agulueri). While the former was recently reconstructed and empirically found to have existed since 1230BC, with Eze-Nri Ifiukwuanyim as first Eze-Nri, the latter was established in 1087BC with Eze Anyiamigbo as first Eze Ora 1 of Agulueri. The progenitor of Igbo People, Eri, was noted to have migrated and settled at “Eri-Aka”, now called ‘Agulueri’ in present Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State around 1450BC from where one of his sons, Nri-Menri, moved to Igbo hinterland where the sacred throne of ‘Eze-Nri’ was established around 1230BC through one of his sons called “Ifiukwuanyim”. The above empirical findings have therefore placed the Igbo Priest-Kingship (Eze-Nri stool) above any other throne in Nigeria. In other words, from available historical, forensic, scholarly and verifiable records, the Igbo Nation (founded around 1450BC) and its ancient Eze-Nri stool (established around 1230BC) is about 103 years older than the mainstream Igala Nation (an offshoot of Igbo Nation), 553 years older than the Bini/Agbon (Agbor) Nation, 2,103 years older than the Ijo (Ijaw) Nation, 2,153 years older than the Kanem-Bornu (Kanuri) Nation, 2,253 years older than the Hausa Nation, 2,553 years older than the Yoruba Nation and 3,253 years older than the Fulani Nation, etc. As a matter of fact, the throne of Eze-Nri Priest-Kingship is 2,885 years older than the stool of Oba of Lagos and 2,480 years older than the throne of Ooni of Ife.
From Portuguese Pepper Farmland To Palace of Oba of Lagos
Apart from Lagos (Eko) being renamed in 1472 (300 years after the area was originally founded and named by the Pre-Imperial Igbo-Bini Kings under the spiritual influence of Eze-Nri Priest-Kingship) as “Lago de Curamo” or a group of lakes/lagoons by Portuguese explorer, Rui de Sequeira, the Palace of the ‘Oba of Lagos’ was also built and opened in 1705 by the Portuguese settlers, fifty-five (55) years after it was established in 1630AD. Another name for the “Palace of Oba of Lagos” is ‘Portuguese Pepper Farmland’. From the above, therefore, the throne of Eze-Nri which existed as the “Pre-Christian Papacy” with its Eze-Nri as “Pre-Christian Pontiff” had a widespread spiritual influence covering the oracular eras of Pre-Ogiso/Ogiso and Pre-Imperial/Imperial Bini Dynasties, Igala Dynasties and so on. The spiritual influence of Eze-Nri Priest-King included issuance of supernatural staff of office (scepter) to Bini and Igala Kings, etc.
Empirical Accounts of How Eze-Nri (Pre-Christian Pontiff) Made Kings of Bini, Igala, Etc
The description of Eze Nri and his Eze Nri-in-Council as “pre Christian Pontiff and Papacy” was how the then Benin Empire and the Portuguese diplomats led by Rui de Sequeira (who named Lagos in 1472AD) and his companions recorded them as far back as 1498AD during the visit of the Portuguese diplomats to then Oba of Benin (Oba Ozolua: 1480-1504). This is contained in the 25th September 2010 article, titled: Medieval Archives: Illuminating the Dark Ages for the Digital World reproduced by the Nigerian Observer Newspaper. One of the diplomats that visited, Joao de Barros had in his accounts written as follows of a possible pre-Christian influence in ancient Benin Kingdom:- “Among the many things which the king D. Jodo learnt from the ambassador of the king of Benin and also from Joao Afonso d Aveiro of what they had been told by the inhabitants of these regions was that to the east of Benin Kingdom (thick forest/hinterland where pre Christian Nri Sacred Kingdom was located in ancient Igbo Land) lived the most powerful monarch of these parts who was called “Ogane” (Nri King). Among the pagan chiefs of the territories of Benin, Ogane was held in as great veneration as is the supreme Pontiff with us. In accordance with a very ancient custom, the new King of Benin, before ascending the throne, sends ambassadors to Ogane (Eze Nri) with rich gifts to announce that by the decease of his predecessor, he has succeeded to the Kingdom of Benin and request confirmation. To signify his assent, the Prince Ogane sends the King a staff and a head piece of shining brass fashioned like a Spanish helmet in place of a crown and scepter. He also sends a cross, likewise of brass to be worn round the neck, a holy and religious emblem similar to that worn by the KNIGHTS of the order of Saint John. Without these emblems the people do not recognize the King as lawful ruler, nor can he call himself truly king”.
Emeka Umeagbalasi is a Criminologist, Researcher, Investigator and Fellow of the United States Department of State’s Int’l Visitors’ Leadership Program (IVLP) and presently Board Chair of the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety). He sent this piece from his hometown, Ezinifite-Aguata, Anambra State, Nigeria. He can be reached via WhatsApp (only): +2348100098016)