Friday 20 May 2022


A version of the Oshodi-Tapa history has it that he, a prince of the Bida Emirate in the present day Niger State, migrated to Lagos at a very young age when his father warned him to leave their original palace because of a prophesy that he would grow to become a powerful child, with a popularity that would transcend borders. He was said to have been warned that if he was to survive the evil that may befall him, he would have to leave his homestead in Bida.

Oshodi-Tapa’s migration to Lagos was said to have happened during the reign of King Esilokun, the then Oba of Lagos. The narrative was that he arrived Lagos into the warm embrace of one Chief Shagbemi, who would later introduce him to the then King.

Esilokun, after knowing that Oshodi-Tapa was a prince from the Bida Emirate, was said to have instructed Shagbemi to keep nurturing him in the palace. Oshodi-Tapa later travelled from his new home to Portugal, the United States, Brazil, Germany and other parts of the world before returning to Lagos.

Regarded as an outstanding warrior and business tycoon, Oshodi-Tapa was also said to have participated in the slave trade. Then, the trade, despite being degrading, was said to have thrived as a mark of honour for many of the powerful and the wealthy at the time.

Perhaps, nothing defined the life and times of Oshodi-Tapa than the partisan role he was credited to have played during the reign of Oba Kosoko, who ruled Lagos between 1845 and 1851. Oshodi-Tapa, who was credited with great military and technical intelligence, was said to have assisted Kosoko to chase his cousin, the then Oba Akintoye, away from the throne to pave way for his (Kosoko’s) emergence as king. But after six years of Kosoko on the throne, Akintoye, history has it, sought and secured the support of the British who led a counter-assault on Lagos against Kosoko.

The defeat of the Kosoko and Oshodi-Tapa forces led to their relocation to Epe. Their arrival in that ancient town, with their followers, led to the emergence of what is today known as Eko-Epe quarters in Epe town. Yet, Kosoko and Oshodi-Tapa followers refused to give up the throne in Lagos. From time to time, they launched constant assaults on Lagos. When it became apparent that the situation would never be resolved except through an amicable resolution, the British were said to have instituted a peace initiative that saw the warring parties come to an agreement on peaceful co-existence.

As part of the deal reached at the time, the dethroned King Kosoko was allowed to return to his former  place of abode in Ereko Idumota on Lagos Island. However, the former place of abode for Oshodi-Tapa in Olowogbowo had been taken over by other people and he was thus asked to settle at a new place called Epetedo, meaning those who returned from Epe. Upon his return to Lagos, Oshodi-Tapa was said to have created new quarters for his followers, who were known as Arota. A total of 21 quarters were said to have been created. The established quarters were Oshodi, Ope, Akinyemi, Oguntusi, Ajia Ijesha (the only woman among them), Dosunmu Ajiwe, Inasa, Ogunoloko, Oluwo Jakande, Alagbede, Ewumi, Mogaji, Oloko, Alayaki, Abu, Osho Anifowoshe, Ajagun, Sumonu Baale, Yeshilo, Adio Olodo, Abari and Alfa Iwo courts.

Perhaps, what many may find most intriguing in the story of Oshodi-Tapa is how a village he just temporarily relocated to in help of a friend ,has over-shadowed in fame his actual places of abode at Olowogbowo and Epetedo on Lagos Island. In the mention of the name Oshodi to a modern Lagos resident, what readily comes to mind is the famous Oshodi market and transportation hub at the Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area. The location of the old Oshodi village was in the then Western Region, but is presently in Lagos State.

By Agogo Ayo.

1 comment:

  1. - Thank you very much for this valuable information


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