BRIEF PROFILE OF BADAGRY LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The Ogu people of Badagry Local Government Area in the Lagos south – west area of Nigeria are part of the Yoruba/Popo Sub-group who migrated from the ancient ketu kingdom, which was in the Dahomey Empire now the present day Benin Republic.
According to historical accounts the Ogus moved first from Ile-ife in the 13th century into the then Dahomey Empire which Subjugated Ketu Kingdom and from there broke into two waves.
While a band of the Ogus (as usually called) moved westwards into Accra and Lome to form the Ga and Eve stocks in the present day Ghana. The second group led by Akran Gbafoe moved Eastwards along the Port-Novo and Yewa Creeks (Later Badagry) creeks) settling along the Kweme coast line and Ologe lagoon to form the chain of Ogu Communities with Badagry as the epicenter in the 15th century.
The boundary of this fledging Ogu State was defined by a British Declaration contained in the Treaty of Cession of July 7th 1863 and re-affirmed on May 5th 1886 and pronounced as follows:
“To the Northward or inland and inclusive thereof Ragbo (Ilogbo) Ikoga-Ile and a line through them to the Ologe waters, to the west, the Iddo continued to the sea by a line passing through and inclusive of Quarmeh (Kweme) to the Eastward, Ologe waters and a line thence to Ilogbo, across the Lagoon to the sea, to the southward by the Sea.
Consequently, the ancient Ogu term of Badagry encompasses the island and mainland communities of kweme, Wesere, Kworo, Ajido, Topo, Ale, Aradagun, Akarakumo, Ibereko, Itoga, Agbalata, Seme, Kankon and Ajara etc.
Of recent some of these communities have developed into full blown settlements with their populations on increase on a daily basis due to regular inflow of settlers Lagos and other parts of the country.
Badagry gained prominence during Slavery era as it became an ancient major Slave port and market and at the abolition of this evil, inhuman, Nefarious and obnoxious trade, it became the entry port for the Missionaries who brought Christianity, Western education and civilization.
The role model of Badagry as a quiet, tranquille and peaceful haven can not be over emphasized and this was evidenced by the numbers of European officers, traders and missionaries who lived and died in Badagry. Also two monarchs from Lagos Island are Oba Adele and Oba Akintoye exiled themselves to Badagry when they had problem with their people.
The hospitable nature of the Ogu people which could be traced to their founding father-Agbada still waxes strong amongst the people. They are warmly disposed to visitors and receptive to pattern of group of group behaviour.
As part of Yoruba nation, the Ogu people’s code of behaviour follows closely the general rule. Hence the document indigenous language is Ogu or Ogugbe with its speakers having the ability to express themselves in a variant of Yoruba called Anago.
Despite their earlier contact with western education and civilization the people maintained strict traditional code of etiquette which frawns at negative imported influences such as bleaching, violence and more importantly disrespect for elders.
Like other Yoruba city-state, Badagry had established the institution of divine kingship (De wheno Aholu) De wheno Aholu Menu – Toyi, Akran of Badagry is the paramount ruler of Oguland and the chairman of the Badagry Divisional chieftancy committee which has over 60 recognized.
Chieftaincies made up of it 16 Obas, several chiefs and quarter heads (Baales).
The traditional administration of Badagry and its environs is vested in the Royal council of the Akran of Badagry which is made up of De wheno Aholu and his high titled chiefs as well as district heads (Totagan). The town is divided into eight quarters with seven white cap chiefs administering seven out of the quarters while the eight quarter from where the De wheno Aholu comes is being administered directly by the crown. The other adjoining mainland districts are administered by their respective traditional rulers of which some of the are of Obaship status i.e Alapa of Apa, Onilogbo of Ilogbo – Eremi, Aholu Gbedite, Ayaton of Ajido, Onoworo of iworo and Oba of Ibereko.
Other communities such as Topa, Iyafin,Mowo, Igborosun, Ajara, Gberefu and Ikoga e.t.c. have quarter heads (Baales).
TRADITIONAL RELIGION & FESTIVALS
Despite its earliest intercourse with Christianity with Christianity and islam, the Ogu people are still strong in their practices of traditional religions. Just like other Yoruba groups, the Ogu people worship the supreme Being – Jiwheyewhe Mawu Ose who is the owner and ruler of the universe. The supreme Being is usually addressed through lesser gods or deities such as Ogun (god of Iron) and Hevioso (god of thunder).
As fishermen, the Ogu people worship Olokun – a water deity, while other shrines of other deities dotted the land scape of the oguland.
The traditional religion continues to rekindle through the celebration of traditional festivals and dances such as Avohunwe, Zangbeto, Hungan, Kuvito, Oro, Igunnuko and others.
Christianity had its in route into Nigeria through Badagry 1842 when Thomas Birch Freeman of the Missionary Society first preached the Gospel to the inhabitants under the historic Agia Tree.
Islam had also got to Badagry through Oyo Traders and today the landscape is dotted with churches and Mosques.
BADAGRY LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION
Badagry was administered first as a district council and later as a divisional council of the colony province under the western region of Nigeria Local Government laws of 1953 and 1959. However, the 1976 Local Government reforms saw Badagry emerging as a full fledged Local Government Council with Awori – Ajeromi and Egun – Awori district under its jurisdictional authority.
Ever since its inception in 1983 to date where now Olorunda LCDA,Badagry West LCDA and Badagry Central LCDA were carved from it during the revolutionary creation of more Local Government under the beautiful administration of former Lagos State Governor; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the council through its various evolutionary stages has been administered by reputable chairman/sole administrator including incumbent executive chairman Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu who has been piloting the ship of the council with all intents and purposes.
Astutely, as philosophy have it that “Service to humanity is the best work of life”, the present day administration of Badagry Local Government has among other things bring smile to the faces of Badagrians. Roads were constructed, ailing primary health center was resuscitated, scholarship and bursary awards were given to students.
In the spirit to further deliver Badagry into a better tomorrow and in the spirit line of Governor of Lagos State, Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola, to make Lagos a megacity, Badagry Local Government have positioned itself to modernizing Badagry. As part of continued effort and credibility own to the people of Badagry, the incumbent Executive Chairman of Badagry Local Government Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu has this to say; “Ours is a responsible government. Ever since you voted for us and we are sworn in, we have tried our best, despite urge pressure on our purse, to stimulate developments in every ward in our dear Local Government. Sincerely, I want to assure you that I have been running a transparent Government. My doors are open any time you feel the need to see me, provided you have a suggestion that can move Badagry Local Government and Lagos State forward”.