In August 1961, Onuora Nzekwu edited a Special Centenary Supplement of Nigeria Magazine, No. 69 (a quarterly publication for everyone interested in Nigeria and its peoples, and edited by Michael Crowther and published by the Federal Government of Nigeria and printed by A Brown & Sons, Hull, England). At the time, the quarterly had been published for over 20 years, and was headquartered at the Exhibition Centre, Marina, Lagos.
This edition, No 69 was dedicated to LAGOS and highlighted the history of the city from 1861 to 1961, thus celebrating the Centenary of this great city.
The magazine, consisting of many advertisements which showed that Nigeria had once been great, with potential, started with a short preface and then several chapters as thus:
• The British Occupation of Lagos, 1851-61, A Critical Review by J F Ade Ajayi
• The Beginning of Modern Lagos, Progress over 100 years, by N S Miller
• Traditional Kingship in Lagos by Dr J Olumide Lucas
• Lagos – Nigeria’s Melting Pot by Akin Mabogunje
• Brazilian Influence on Lagos by A B Laotan
• Nigeria’s Finest Moment by Cyprian Ekwensi
• King Eyo Honesty II of Creek Town by J V Clinton
• Nigeria as seen by Leo Africanus, 1526 (A Note by M Raymond Mauny of Ifan, Dakar)
• Book Reviews.
I cannot reproduce all the articles in this Magazine, but I have decided to make it a historical pictorial journey, to remind us of our former greatness. Maybe one day at a time, I will reproduce the various fascinating and interesting articles which I am proud to be in possession of, after a world-wide hunt.
The preface started like this:
“On 6th August, 1861, the small Yoruba Kingdom of Lagos was ceded to Britain by its ruler, Dosunmu (wrongly spelt and called, Docemo). Though Britain had been active in Lagos for at least fifteen years beforehand, as well as in many other parts of the Coast, this was the first time they occupied land in what is now the Federation of Nigeria. Today, one hundred years later, Lagos is the capital of the largest independent nation in Africa. From these small beginnings in 1861, Lagos has developed into an international commerce centre, with a vast port and a population of over 350,000 people. This special centenary supplement is an attempt to present some of the factors that led to the occupation of Lagos, its subsequent growth as a commercial and political capital culminating in the achievement of Independence on 1st October, 1960, when Lagos, as capital of the Federation, was the focus of the nation’s celebrations.”
The destruction of Lagos by the British Squadron in 1851 because it was a notorious “slave post”.
Treaty with Lagos, 1861 signed by British Naval Officers on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen of Great Britain, and Docemo, King of Lagos, on the part of himself and Chiefs.