THE REDUCTION OF LAGOS.
In 1851, a British Warship, the Prometheus bombarded Lagos to overthrow Oba Kosoko and reinstate his uncle Oba Akitoye.
Akitoye in gratitude signed a protectorate treaty with the British and granted their demand for land to establish Consulate offices, Barracks, Church Missions and to recruit freed slaves from Brazil and Cuba as well as ‘educated’ former slaves from Sierra Leone.
Oba Akitoye would die under mysterious circumstances two years later and his son Dosunmu would be installed in his stead. But within a few years he is forced to cede his Kingdom Lagos to the British Empire. Thus began the colonization of Lagos that would last almost a century. A few years later and in the spirit of true Divide and Rule, the British would invite Kosoko back from exile in order to mute or detract a now troublesome Dosunmu.
Lagos would grow to become the jewel of the Niger area and the most populated black city in the world.
It is funny how history repeats itself albeit with different personae. I look out of my window to see Lagos burning, the Oba is missing, the State Government shaken and a different army of occupation has arrived with their own treaty for our protection.
It was called the ‘Reduction of Lagos’ in 1851, what do we call this script?
Credit Theo Lawson