By Folasade Adeniran
Oba Saheed Elegushi of Ikate-Elegushi kingdom in Lagos State, says arrangements have been concluded to establish a research centre for the study of Lagos history at the Lagos State University (LASU).
Elegushi, who disclosed this on Thursday at a news conference in commemoration of his 13th Coronation Anniversary, said that the project would be ready in 2025.
The Oba was represented by Chief Olalekan Bakare, the Aro Oba Elegushi.
“Today, 13 years and counting, Oba Elegushi has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the well-being of his people and has tirelessly worked to improve the lives of his subjects.
“His reign has been characterised by a deep sense of humility, compassion, and a genuine desire to serve his people.
“As we celebrate this significant milestone in the life and reign of Oba Elegushi, it is important to reflect on the tremendous impact that he has made in his 13 years on the throne.
“Under his leadership, the Ikate Kingdom has witnessed significant progress in various areas of development, particularly in the areas of education, healthcare and infrastructure.
“In furtherance to his commitment to contribute to Lagos Sate and Nigeria, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi has concluded plans to establish a centre for the study of Lagos History at the Lagos State University,” he said.
The Oba said that the establishment of the purpose-built centre was borne out of the need to have an institutional body that would serve as a research and reference centre for Lagos studies.
According to him, it has been observed that the migrants and the settlers have no adequate knowledge of historical evolution as well as the transformational history of the major groups in Lagos despite the plethora of literatures on Lagos.
“The centre is expected to bring people face to face with history, culture, geographical location and socio-economic activities of the people of Lagos across all the five divisions, since pre-European contact.
“This is to correct the misinformation and misrepresentation of the various groups and communities in the state especially on the erroneous view point that “Lagos is no man’s land” (Gbogbo wa la leko…we all own Lagos).
“This perception, is indeed a contradiction to the popular cliché among the indigenous elements of ‘Gedegbe l’Eko wa’ (Lagos Stands alone).
“Historically, the first assumption rests on a misconception rather than on facts of history,” Elegushi said.
According to him, the best way to correct this is through knowledge dissemination and display of historical artefacts.
He said that quest for such a reputable centre that he envisioned was commendable.
The Oba said that “Oba Yekini Elegushi – Centre for Lagos Studies” would serve as a research institute for the study of the socio-cultural, economic as well as the political development of the state since its incipient days
Elegushi said that it was also meant to be a hub for organising seminars, workshops and conferences for issues relating to Lagos for the purpose of policy formulation.
He added that the centre would serve as a venue for conducting research on the political economy of the state to examine developmental issues that fit a mega city like Lagos.
According to him, it will serve as an institution for documentation and publications of studies, surveys and reports on history, heritage monuments, event, festivals and other tourist events that can boost domestic and international tourism in Lagos.
“The process of construction of this building has commenced; the ground-breaking will be taking place in few days and work will start immediately.
“This is to ensure timely completion and commission of the building for the benefit of LASU Community and humanity,” he said.
Also, Dr Bashiru Animashaun, of the Department of History, LASU, said that the Centre would serve as a reference point to disseminate information on history of Lagos.
“There are so many erroneous views regarding the indigenous history of Lagos and there are so many ways to correct this without being unnecessarily fanatical about it.
“It is through academic, and that is why the Oba in his wisdom decided that we can do a whole to correct these irregularities for it to take responsibility for the study of Lagos, the culture and the people.
“I have had instances to discuss with some people, somebody from Olowogbowo will tell me Isale-Eko, they don’t know the difference between the Brazilian Quaters, Isale-Eko, Olowogbowo and the rest.
“These are different localities,” Animashaun said.
According to him, these, among others are what the Centre aims to achieve to shed more light through research , conferences and make available reference materials
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that on April 27, 2010, Elegushi was presented the staff of office, making him the 21st Elegushi and the second traditional ruler of Ikate-Elegushi kingdom.
He succeeded his father, Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi (Kusenla II) of blessed memory. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa