h r m e l e g u s h i
.o r g
The Official Website of The Elegushi Monarchy
 

 

ELEGUSHI IN ETI-OSA HISTORY

 

Research has recently discovered a rare document in the National Archives, Ibadan, was a petition written to the Commissioner of the Colony dated December 11, 1942, thumb printed by one Momodu Sani Legushi, and witnessed by Mr. D. A. Moroundiya. He described himself as the "accredited" representative of the Legusi family. Calling on the government to exercise its power to prevent what may impede 2nd world war efforts as regards certain disputes between Legusi family and the Chief Oniru, he stated that sometime ago the right of ownership of our land from Akoto to Oju Ibo up to lIado.

The text of this document is reproduced here as part of the effort to correct certain unwholesome information, which is making the rounds, and unhelpful to better and improved community ... relations in Eti-Osa and Lagos State in . ' general. This is in view of the fact that leadership in Eti-Osa has decided to put the past behind themselves, and to face the future with renewed hope for the welfare of the people of Eti-Osa.

The dynasty of Elegushi in Eti-Osa is an ancient one, as attested to by the British Administrative Officers during the Colonial era of Lagos. Another rare document discovered during our routine search in the Nigerian National Archives was a letter written by Governor of Lagos, Sir Alfred Moloney dated "Government House, Lagos, 22nd July 1886, addressed to "The Right Honourable. Earl Granville," the then Secretary of State for the Colonies.
It began thus: "My Lord, in continuation of my dispatch No. 198 of the 3rd instant, I have the honour to transmit the accompanying Itinerary of towns and villages between Palma and Leckie which was not included in the information which was contained in the enclosures to my dispatch under reference". Signed Alfred Moloney, Administrator.

In the earlier despatch No. 198 of July 3, 1886 referred to above, he wrote: "My Lord, Of the last , occasion of the relief of the (Police) Constabulary of the Eastern District (of Lagos, that is, Eti-Osa), I took the advantage to have all the towns between Lagos and Palma (Orimedu, In Ibeju Local Government) both on the (Lagos) Lagoon and seaside as well as intermediate, thus notifying by such a necessary and expedient exercise our sovereign rights on that strip (of territory). Such a service had not been done for some years...."

"For purposes of record and future reference, I would beg to invite your Lordship's sanction to have inexpensively printed a few copies of the enclosures to this despatch on definiteness as regards extent of district. I will hope to be able to address Your Lordship later, Signed. A.C. Moloney, Administrator.
The despatch acknowledging the above despatch was forwarded to the Officer Administering the Government of Lagos dated "Downing Street, (London), 17'" September, 1886," and began: "Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Captain Moloney's despatch No. 198 of the 3'd of July, forwarding an Itinerary of Mr. Willoughby's journey in the Eastern part of the Colony (of Lagos). I will make arrangements with the Crown Agents for having the Itineraries printed as desired by Captain Moloney. I have the honour to be, Your Most Obedient Humble Servant, (signed) Edward Stanhope," Under-secretary of State for the Colonies.
From the text on this and subsequent pages, it would be seen that Elegushi, as the Chief and "Headman" was credited with the Headship or control of Ojota, a small community which shares boundary with Shangojimi on the West, Lafiaji I (not Lafiaji Oju Egun), Okun Alasan (liasan) Sea Beach, and I kate, while his appointed Baales ruled over other parts of his expansive territory, which is, today known as Ikateland or Kingdom".

The document is also important for the socioeconomic and geo-political study of Eti-Osa in the second half of the 19th century, while it removes the mist from the eerie story of tradition which often pass off as "historical" fact.

On February 17, 1885, almost exactly 121 years ago, King Dosumu, the 13th ruler of Lagos died.
A deputation of chiefs, descendants and siblings of the king called on the British governor of Lagos to request permission to bury the king's corpse in Iga Idunganran. The deputation, whose titles and names where listed in a despatch shown elsewhere in this brochure, reads,: Eletu Odibo, Ojan, Aromire, Olumegbon, Eletu Ijebu, Oliru (Oniru), Onikoyi, Elegusi, Olisiwo (Onisiwo), Ojora, Opeluwa, and . Onimole.

The Warchiefs who formed part of the deputation were Asogbon, Bajulai, Suenu, Arole and Ewumi (Oshodi); Sogunro, one of the principal men (chamberlain) of the king's household. King Dosumu's sons and daughters on the deputation were listed as: Samuel Dosumu, Arthur Docemo, David Docemo, Kudeinbu, Oyekan, Faro, Fabi, Esubi, Fabiyi, Jose, Aborisade, Esugbayi, Talabi, Idewu, Selokun and others. The king's brothers included on the deputation were Fasinro and Oduntan, while Dr. Lumpkin, King Dosumu's physician was also present.

The Govemor approved the intra-mural burial of the king's corpse inside the Iga.

Another vital document which established the existence of Elegushi's presence as an Idejo chief was a minute written by one Mr. A. L. Hethersetth, the Govemor's private secretary in charge of native affairs, dated "Aborigenes Department, 20th January 1896," stating that "White Capped Chiefs Olumegbon, Ijora (Ojora), Elegusi are here, Sir, to ask what time Your Excellency will have time to see them"Subject - Operations (construction of Railway Station) at Ido-Island.
"That there is one sacred spot there belonging to the Olofin, the ancient king of Ido -Island, whom the king of Benin came in the past to wage war against, And from which time originated Lagos - Eko - which Lagos was then a farm of Ido Island - And thus become to them a sacred spot.

(signed) A. L. Hethersett.

"Govemor instructed them to put their wishes in writing, before an appointment could be made' - A.L.H. (20.1.96)" Incidentally, Bamgbala was Chief Elegushi at this interesting period of Ikate's history. It is therefore an improper opinion to challenge the antiquity of Elegushi of Ikate in Eti-0sa, or to express doubt of his ancestry as a true descendant of Olofin of Iddo who was allotted territorial land at Eti-Osa where he exercised control from the remote historical past.

Even the celebrated historian of Lagos, late Herbert Macaulay stated, in one of his writings on Elegushi contained among his papers in the archives, thus:
"ELEGUSHI KUSENLA ELEGUSHI was son of OLOFIN of IDDO ( or Bruce) Island......

The above records established firmly that Ikateland and Elegushi have always been part and parcel of contemporary Eti-Osa going back to the earliest period of the existence of Lekki Peninsula in pre-rolonial time.

 

Contact: kabiyesi@hrmelegushi.org
 

 

Web Enquiries: webeditor@hrmelegushi.org. Copyright @ http://www.hrmelegushi.org. 2009. All Rights Reserved.