Oba Saheed Elegushi of Ikate-Elegushi kingdom in Lagos State has announced the establishment of a research center for the study of Lagos history at Lagos State University, LASU.
Elegushi announced during a news conference on Thursday to commemorate his 13th coronation anniversary that the project would be completed in 2025.
Chief Olalekan Bakare, the Aro Oba Elegushi, represented the Oba.
“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 stated that the purpose-built center was founded on the necessity for an institutional entity that would act as a research and reference center for Lagos studies.
Despite the abundance of literature on Lagos, he claims that migrants and settlers lack adequate knowledge of the historical evolution and transformational history of the major groups in 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.
He believes that the best approach to address this is through information distribution and the presentation of historical artifacts.
He praised his hunt for the kind of respected center he envisioned.
The Oba stated that the “Oba Yekini Elegushi – Centre for Lagos Studies” would function as a research facility for the study of the state’s socio-cultural, economic, and political development from its inception.
Elegushi stated that it was also intended to serve as a centre for organizing seminars, workshops, and conferences on Lagos-related topics for the aim of policy creation.
He went on to say that the center would be used to do study on the state’s political economy and to look into developmental challenges relevant to a megacity like Lagos.
According to him, it will function as an institution for the documentation and dissemination of studies, surveys, and reports on history, heritage monuments, events, festivals, and other tourist events in Lagos, which will help to increase domestic and international tourism.
“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 Quarters, Isale-Eko, Olowogbowo and the rest.
“These are different localities,” Animashaun said.
According to him, the center’s goals include, among other things, shedding additional light through research, conferences, and making reference resources available.
Elegushi was presented with the staff of office on April 27, 2010, making him the 21st Elegushi and the second traditional ruler of the Ikate-Elegushi kingdom.
Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi (Kusenla II), of hallowed memory, succeeded him.
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