Former Federal Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Femi Okunnu has faulted the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu’s claim that Lagos is not part of Yoruba land.
Okunnu insisted that Lagos has always been a Yoruba State and remained as such.
Speaking while delivering a lecture during the 40th anniversary celebration of Idungaran Club of Lagos, titled “Let Lagos State be,’’ Okunnu argued that the common language spoken in Lagos had always been Yoruba, notwithstanding the fact that there is a large percentage of its people whose ancestral were Bini or Tapa.
Okunnu said the same argument could be said for millions of Fulanis in Sokoto State/Adamawa, Gongola, Kano/Katsina State who were less Fulani in origin just because the common language of these Fulanis in those States is Hausa, and not Fulani.
“Lagos State was the first British Colony to be established in 1861 in modern-day Nigeria, followed by the protectorate of Southern Nigeria and the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria in 1900. Lagos colony, including Ikeja, Epe and Badagry divisions remained a separate administration from the two Protectorates or three Regions (1946-51) until 1951. Lagos was the centre of Nigerian politics until 1950.”
Okunnu further said that in 1954 under the Littleton constitution, Lagos city regained its independence from the West and became the Federal Territory (and a constituent unit of the Federation) until the creation of Lagos State in May 1967 when the colony province (Epe, Badagry and Ikeja) rejoined the city to constitute Lagos State in General Yakubu Gowon’s 12 State structure to replace the four regions under the 1963 constitution and that the battle for the independence of Nigeria was fought on the streets of Lagos by indigenes and non-indigenes.
President of Idunganran Club of Lagos, Chief Ganiu Abayomi-Badmus promised that the club would at all times looked after the welfare of its members and the community.