Badagry: Lagos An Indigenous Home

Badagry is a coastal town and local government area in Lagos State, Nigeria.

The coastal town of Badagry, traditionally known as Gbagle, is situated between the city of Lagos, and the border with Benin Republic at Seme. It was cut out of Nigeria in 1863 and eventually added to the state of Lagos as part of Nigeria by the United Kingdom in 1901.

Being the second largest town in Lagos State, Badagry is surrounded by lakes, creeks and island, which makes beaches and resorts one of the major attractions of the ancient town.

Here are a few quick facts about the indigenous people of Badagry:

1. Badagry is a monarchy headed by the Wheno Aholuship, a king­ship head by the Akran of Badagry and his seven white cap high chiefs. The white cap chiefs administer the eight quarters which Badagry is di­vided into. These divisions are Aho­vikoh, Boekoh, Jegba, Posukoh, Awhanjigo, Asago, Whalako and Ganho.

2. The title of Badagry’s royal father is Oba Akran, a kingship so influential that one of longest commercial avenues (a 2.14kilometere stretch) in Ikeja, Oba Akran Avenue, was named after it.

3. Badagry locals, comprising of the Aworis, Egun, Yoruba and Ogu people, are known for their hospitable disposition and their famous snack, Ajogun, made from cassava, best enjoyed with coconut water sucked from a straw plunged deep into the coconut.

4. Because of its proximity to the ocean, Badagry became the key port for export of African slaves to the Americas. Till date, there is a small museum in the building of the first Christian mission that showcases the manacles and other relics of the hugely lucrative and barbaric trade in humans.

5. Founded in the 15th century, Badagry was said to have been named from a dual corruption of Agbedegreme (which means Agbedeh’s farm in “Ogu” language) to Agbedagari and Agbedagari to Badagry by Yoruba settlers and European slave traders respectively. It is believed that Agbedeh was the famous farmer who founded the town.

6. Christianity was first preached in Badagry as it was the town where Christian mission workers came to and practiced their work. However, the traditional worshipping of the Supreme Being (Jiwheyewhe mawu ose) through lesser gods such as Ogun (God of iron) and Hevioso (god of thunder) is still very much practiced. Being mainly fishermen, the Egun people also worship Olokuna water deity which is usually appeased for abundant fishes.

7. The first two-storey building was built in Marina, Badagry in 1845.

8. Common native food to the Egun includes pap and stew, azin bokun. The Egun people basically have similar kinds of food with the Yoruba. These items of food also include some of the Yoruba native dishes like eba, semo, amala, fufu, tuwo etc, while native soups in Egun include Benin Red Sauce, Peanut Sauce, and also vegetable soup.

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