History of Lagos

History of Lagos: The Cultural Background of Lagos LGAs

Although most Nigerians who  don’t live in Lagos criticize the bustle of this exciting city, Lagos is my best city in Nigeria. 


From the diversity in culture of several Lagos inhabitants to its rich cultural heritage, commerce, and wild parties, Lagos state has a lot to offer.

This is the land of yellow buses, skyscrapers, and tenacious people. Here, you not only navigate through the busy Lagos roads, you also interact with its people. From the elite squad of Ikoyi and the island to the ingenious creatives of Oshodi, Mushin, Agege and several other locations. 

Our culture is not written on the plain text of history, we carry them in our heart. Our fast-paced nature hints about ancient wars and our versatile landscape tells our tale of development. We can’t forget the iconic water bodies of Lagos which contribute to its thriving economy. 

History of Lagos: LGA and Cultural BackgroundLagos 20 Local Government

Due to the growth of Lagos state, it features  20 Local Government Areas. They are: 














Lagos Island

Lagos Mainland






The Layout of Lagos’ LGA is arranged in such a way that the state is divided into two (metropolitan and non metropolitan Lagos). Non metropolitan Lagos is made up of Badagry, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki and Epe. While the rest are considered as metropolitan Lagos. 

Originally, Lagos was inhabited by the Awori tribe who resided in the estuarine regions of the state. These areas have now developed into what we call  Island, Apapa, Eti-Osa and Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Areas. 

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As the years passed by, migration and urbanization expanded the city into the Surulere, Mainland and Ajeromi-Ifelodun regions of today. These were the initial local government areas of Lagos.

However, Lagos’ connection with the Ocean and its identity as a major commercial hub caused a massive increase in its development.

Consequently, Lagos was deemed a metropolitan area and the addition of other towns led to formation of more local government areas. Its rapid development was most likely due to the presence of one of the largest seaports in Africa as Lagos State is situated by the Atlantic Ocean. 

Lagos State or Lagos Metropolitan Area has since become one of the most flourishing cities in Africa. Lagos has a hand in every aspect of business that could lead to the flourishing of a city or country. 

Education, Commerce, Marketing, Infrastructure, technology, media, tourism, art and fashion can all be found in this state in Nigeria. Basically whatever you could possibly look for is available in this city. Lagos was the initial capital state of Nigeria before Abuja which was situated at Nigeria’s center was announced as the capital state in the latter months of 1991. 

Shockingly, even the first settlers of Lagos (The Awori Yoruba tribe of Western Africa) were a group of people well accustomed to war. Before the development of this state, battles were fought over numerous forms of dispute such as land. 

The ruler of the Awori people (Olofin) had spread the initial settlement of Lagos among his sons- about 8 of them. However, a dispute which developed into full conflict with weapons cost Olofin his city and ultimately took his life.  History has it that Olofin’s opponent was a wealthy woman known as Aina.

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This information is a bit hard to swallow right? Considering that Olofin lived and Aina lived in a strong Patriarchal era. Well, your suspicions are not far fetched. Aina had the support of the Oba of Benin. 

Initially, the Oba of Benin acted as a mediator between Olofin and Aina but when he noticed that both sides were not budging, he gave his support to Aina.  Not long after the Aina and Olofin episode, major ownership of Lagos fell into the hands of the Oba and his descendants. 

Since then, Lagos has experienced it’s fair share of battles following its development until the state became what it is today. Very few battles are fought in Lagos State currently, with more focus on development and growth of the state.

 However, where there is a large number of people it is almost impossible to not have conflicts. There is a constant struggle for power behind the peaceful upfront of the state. Although there is almost no physical battle, verbal plays and plots are still present. Yet the state keeps developing rapidly from one point to another. 

Another interesting fact about Lagos is the the transatlantic slave trade in Nigeria, Lagos was the major port of exchange in those days. 

Following this, slave traders would invade the state, get the people who had been classified or,sold off as slaves and then return to their ship by the Atlantic. Then, they would sail all the way back to their home countries where the trading of slaves will be done. 

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Eventually this inhuman concept was abolished and slave trade was brought to an end. Slave trade in Lagos had its root majorly  the Badagry local government area. Even till date, exhibitions depicting the horror of slave trade before its abolishment can be found in various locations in this local government area. 

Lagos State really has a very interesting history going back to more than 400 years back. This state has grown from a simple farming region into the massive metropolis that it is today. This has only been accomplished by the constant pursuit of growth by the various leaders of this state. Now, this state has gotten more than 15 local government areas spread all around with varying degrees of development. 


The cultural heritage of Lagos is deeply rooted in its lifestyle. The city and its people tell a tale of adventure, challenges and progress. So when next you walk on Lagos soil, or see its Festival celebrations, enjoy the experience but also appreciate the sacrifice and innovation that brought Lagos to this level.

Visit the Island, Mainland and Sub Urban regions of Lagos to experience the beauty of the state to the fullest. 


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