Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State
Stella
in

Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State

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DAY 1: A TRIP TO BADAGRY 

On the 6/11/2018, few students of the departments of History and international studies ranging from 100 level–400 level embarked on a tour to Lagos state.

At about 6:00 am, the travelling student assembled at the faculty. Some came alongside with bags, while some with travelling boxes. At 8:00 am, the school buses arrived. Two coastal buses and two fourteen seater bus was brought. At 8:30 am, names of students were called to enter the bus. But before entering the bus, a tag was given to the travelling student. On the tag was a write up “History and international studies, student association, {HISSA}, Kogi state chapter participant, 2017/2018 Excursion tour”. We sat comfortably on the bus. At about 9:00 am, the buses took off. We were cheerful and happy. There was interaction among student on the bus, we were free on the bus among ourselves and as a result of this, the bus was so lively.

Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State
Stella at the Badagry signpost

We were accompanied by two of our able and erudite lecturers in the person of Mr Ineke Ugbedeojo Joseph and Mr Abuh Leonard. The journey to Lagos was slow and steady. We passed through Kogi, Akoko Edo, Ondo. At about 2:40 pm, at Owo in Ondo state, one of our buses had a flat tyre, the tube was condemned and needed to be changed. While the tyre was being changed, we had our lunch at “Perfect match restaurant”. Students requested for food such as Eba, Akpu and Egusi soup while some bought snacks such as Eggroll, Bread, Fanta and Spirit. At the restaurant, our phone was charging too.

By 3:30 pm, our journey continued. At 5:40 pm, it was raining heavily at Ijesha, Osun state. While raining, the bus moved slow and steady alongside music. It was not boring at all. We passed along several institutions like the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo Federal University of Technology Akure, Joseph Ayo Babalolah university (JABU), Oduduwa University, Ile-Ife Osun state. We also passed through Ibadan, Ogun and finally Lagos. It does not stop there. We missed our way for about 30 minutes looking for the right way to mile-two. At this point, we were stranded and began to complain.

At about 12:40 am, we arrived safely at mile-two and lodged at the Galaxy hotel. In a room were a number of four students each. The rooms were well arranged with a ceiling fan, television, good toilet and enough water, we were so tired so, we took our bath, say our prayers and went to bed.

DAY 2

A VISIT TO BADAGRY SLAVE PORT, FIRST STOREY BUILDING IN NIGERIA, THE LAND OF NO RETURN AND DESTINATION, THE ATTENUATION WELL AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN.

On 7/11/2018, as early as 5:20 am, we woke up and conducted our morning devotions individually, took our bath and set out for Badagry. It was not boring at all. At 7:30 am, we stopped at Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, for over one hour 5 minutes. We were stranded waiting for our fellow student who could not find their way to locate us, at this point some student had their breakfast. After several callings at 8:35 am, they arrived safely but struggling to open one of the bus’s doors. With all effort made, the door was opened and we proceed. At Agbara, we packed in a fuel station to fuel the bus. Finally, at about10:24 am, we arrived at the Badagry slave port.

Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State
Stella at Badagry Museum

Firstly, we arrived at Serikin Faremi William Museum. At the entrance of the museum by the right on the wall, was European products used for the exchanged of human beings in West Africa. They include Canon Gun, Alcoholic Liquor, Beads, Brass Dish, Kettle, Mirror, Ceramic Bowl, Gun and Umbrella. By the left were pictures of Serikin Faremi William Abbas, his background, early life and death. Moving further into the museum, there was a tour guy who welcomed us, told us a brief history of Serikin Faremi William Abbas and his Brazilian Barracoon built for him by Mr Willaims who was a European slave trader. So, Serikin William Abbas bears the name of his master. The first thing taken from them was their identity.

Serikin Faremi William Abbas was the paramount ruler of Badagry in 1895-1919. He was the 19th-century slave merchant who traded directly with Brazilians. He married 128 wives. We further moved to the Brazilian Baraccon were a total number of forty slaves were kept. Barracoon was a slave cell or slave room. Inside the museum, was a ceramic bowl, a bottle of dry gin, pot owned and used by chief Serikin William Abbas brought from Brazil. They were kept in a glass and shown to us. By the right was ancient heavy chains used to chain the slaves.

Furthermore, in the premises of the museum was the first well dug by the slaves. In that same premises was the tomb of Serikin Faremi William Abbas. He died on 11th June 1919 and was buried alongside forty slaves. An ancient umbrella was also shown to us. It was exchanged for forty human beings. Now, some building in the museum now serves as rooms to his descendant. Though, the descendant of Serikin William Abbas regrets and are very sorry for the involvement of serikin William Abbas in the trans-Atlantic slave trade either by choice or by force.

Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State
Stella taking selfie at the first Storey building

Secondly, we arrived at the first storey building in Nigeria, built in 1845. There we were educated by a tour guy in the person of Mr Ezekiel Vyapbong. The building was started in 1842 and was completed in 1845. The house is built of sound African wood principally of what we call brimstone. It is 10ft raised from the ground on twenty-six stout and durable trees called cabbage trees and species of a coconut tree and nine other smaller trees. It is 44feet in length and 26ft in breadth and wide. It is estimated to cost £325.

The building was constructed by C.A Gollmer in 1845. We entered into the building and inside were two big sitting rooms, six-bedrooms, four stores and a safe were precious items were kept. Inside the building, we saw the pictures of the cemetery where all the missionaries who died in Badagry were buried. The total numbers of the missionaries who died and were buried in Badagry were two hundred and forty. Not all the missionaries who came to Badagry all died in Badagry because some of them took the mission to another country. Prominent people that were buried in the cemetery include Mrs Gollmer, Mrs Muller, Mr. & Mrs Cooten, Mr George Brand and Mr Mark Willoughby.

Furthermore, we proceed to the room of the first western teacher in Nigeria, Mr Claudius Philips 1845-1868. Also, the picture of the first known school in Nigeria, It was established by Mr and Mrs De Graft and was named “Nursery of the infant church” in 1843. The school was later moved to its permanent site in 1845 and was renamed “St. Thomas Primary School” which was Established with about 40 men. Also was the picture of the historical Agia tree. Reverend. Thomas Birch Freeman from Wesleyan missionary first preached Christianity in Nigeria under the Agia tree on 24th September 1842. The first Christmas was jointly held under the tree on December 25th,1842, both the Anglican and Wesleyan missionaries led by Rev. Henry Townsend and Rev. Birch Freeman respectively. The tree fell on 20th June 1959 and was replaced with a monument.

The picture of Rev. Henry Townsend 1815-1886, Rev. C.A Gollmer, Mr Claudius Philips, Christmas photograph of the staff of the African oil nuts company and Miller brothers at Badagry in Nigeria, the missionary trust fund box,  history on the emergence of Christianity in Nigeria.

The photograph of Rev. Samuel Ajayi Crowther was there too. He was a linguist and the first African Anglican bishop n Nigeria, he was reputedly known for his selfless contribution towards the growth and propagation of Christianity in Nigeria. He was an African missionary and liberated slave who translated the English Bible into the Yoruba language in 1845. It was printed in Great Britain. So, was the first Bible brought by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) by rev. Henry Townsend in 1842 was seen. The bibles were kept in glassware to prevent it from being eaten by insects.  In the safe were precious items were kept was shillings, pounds, penny and kobo. On 1st of January 1973, the federal republic of Nigeria changed to Naira and Kobo.

Thirdly, on the premises where the first storey building was built was a well called “miracle well”. It was the well of the missionary dug in 1842 and it happened to be the first well of the missionary not the first well in Nigeria. When the missionary came to Badagry town, they discovered that all the other well they have in that environment in Badagry had thirst and colour because they were close to the water called the Lagoon and also close to the Atlantic ocean. So, the waters affect all the water they have in their environment so, they had thirst and colours. But the miracle well is the only well in Badagry that is clean, odourless, thirstless and gormless. Everybody in the environment come to fetch and drink the water. But since 1842 the missionary dug the well, the well had never dried and never change colour, so, people who believe in God use the name of God on the water and God is answering their prayers. So, it was named miracle well. We the students were permitted to fetch the water. Some student drank the water while some used it to wash their faces. Truly it was thirstless, colourless, and odourless.

Fourthly, we all walked forward to the Lagoon. We entered an engine boat to enable us to cross to the Island. It was full of fun as some student refused to cross due to fright. After crossing the Lagoon we get to a point called “The Journey of no return and destination” moving forward was the Attenuation well. The well was filled with water but now greenish in colour. The waters were given to slaves especially the stubborn slaves in other to enable them to lose their memory. Their memory can be recovered after three months. Black magic was put inside the well. From there, we took a walk for about 25 minutes and arrived at the Atlantic ocean. It was fun at the ocean as a student were taking selfies with their friends and course mate. Before the ocean was a building not yet completed called “the Land of return”. It was due to the liberated slaves that returned back.

By 3:00 pm, we took off room Badagry to mile two. On our way back, one of the coastal buses had a flat tyre. We waited for about 30minutes and it was put to others. There was traffic along with Alaba international market as people and goods were being moved from one place to another. At 7:00 pm, we missed our way to mile two due to t lack of signboards. But finally, at about 8:02 pm, we arrived at the Galaxy hotel. The students lodged in their various rooms, with the light on, ventilation from the ceiling fan, there was enough water and so, we took our bath, say our night prayers and went to bed.

DAY 3 : A VISIT TO THE NIGERIA INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND A SHOPRITE

On 8/11/2018, at about 7:00 am, we woke up, conducted our morning devotions, bushed our teeth’s, took our baths and get dressed. At 9:30 am, we set out to the Nigeria Institute of international affairs. At 10:15 am, we arrived at the institute. It is located at no. 13/15 Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State
Stella reading

At first, when we arrived at the institute, we were addressed quietly by our lecturers on how to coordinate and conduct ourselves. We entered into the institute at the down floor and we were received, and welcomed by Mr Shak Dam Wakmuk and Dr Ugwanyi Chinasa. We were told a brief history of the institute as it was established in 1961 with the support of the then prime minister in the person of late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Dr Lawrence Apalara Fabunmi, they also discussed on its objectives, department and divisions. We were also lectured on globalization and issues of climate change. It was educative and fun as there were question and answers. After the lecture, books were presented to us which include; Nigeria forum, the question of Diaspora in Nigeria’s international relations, the economic diplomacy of the Nigerian state, new scramble for Africa, Africa and Europe in the 21st century and New Horizon for Nigeria in world affairs. Books were also presented to the school through the lectures. Our lectures show appreciation on behalf of the student to the institute as we were so happy and grateful too. We moved further to the institute library and an area for a press and pamphlet collection it was big, clean and contain many books.

Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State
Stella shopping at Shoprite

Besides, by 2:00 pm, we left for the institute and moved forward to a shop rite at Lekki Phase 1. It was big and beautiful. Before we entered, the security men conducted a search on us individually before we proceed. Before the entrance of the shop rite, at the right was a food court, Game, and cinema. The student was so so happy as they were shopping for snacks of their choice. At 3:30 pm, we left the shop rite and lodged back again at the Galaxy hotel.

DAY 4: A VISIT TO ATTAH  IGALA PALACE

“Attah” means father while Attah Igala literally connotes fathers of Igala. It is the title given to the political traditional ruler in Igala land.

On 9/11/2018, we visited the Attah’s palace at Owonroshoki, Lagos. Before the visitation, we had our breakfast individually an put on an Igala traditional attire. Though not all the student had it, there was an alternative of putting on native attire. We packed our bags and luggage form Galaxy hotel with the intention of lodging at another hotel while coming back.

At about 10:30 am, we arrived at Attah’s palace. The palace was by the side. At the entrance of the palace, we were asked to take off our shoes and sandals and it was done without complaint. The palace was big and beautiful, on the walls was the picture of the Attah and his wife. Chairs were offered to us to sit and bottled water was also given to us also. Though the Attah was not around and we waited for him till he arrived. Before his arrival, we were entertained by a folk song of Igala tradition. some student danced while some sang.

Experience In The Five Days Tour In Lagos State
Stella

About an hour, the Attah arrived. Though we were expecting an old man, he was not. He was a huge, tall, handsome and good looking man, fair in complexion. As he entered into the palace, pleasantries were exchanged. There was a saying “me gwonu Igala…..” “Iyaji”. Ekigala ma cheni….. gbake koiko.

He welcomed us an introduced himself in the person of Chief Yakubu Sanni Ejima. He was a Lagos based businessman and later became the chief of Igala in Lagos state. He promised to carry all Igala people leaving in Lagos along in whatever he does. He is also expected to be the father and traditional leader of Igalas residing in Lagos and to make the unity of his people a priority in all his endeavours. He pledged to empower the Igala youths residing in Lagos. He is also the gbobaniyi of Oworonshoki in Lagos. Aside from him being the chief there, they are other chiefs who represent him in Aja, Obalende, Ikoyi, Ekpe, Ketu and so on. A Kolanut was brought by an elder in the palace. He bent down and made a series of incantation, after the incantation he said, our visit was accepted by the ancestors. So after that, the Kolanut was broken into pieces and shared to the student, but not everybody accepts to eat but only a few did. After the introduction and his motive for the Igalas in Lagos state, a group photograph was taken with the Attah at his palace.

By 3:02 pm, we left the Attah palace. The student was fully ready to go to the beach. But it was cancelled because much time was spent at the Attah’s palace. There was panic among student on the bus because of not going to the beach. Though, it was later resolved. On our way back, we did not lodge at the Galaxy hotel but instead, at one & two hotels in Ajegunle. Our room was shown to us, four students at each room. There was light, water and ceiling fan. We eat our dinner, took our bath, say our night prayer and went to bed.

DAY 5: A TRIP TO KOGI

On 10/11/2018 at about 4:00 am, we woke up, brush our teeth, took our bath and get dressed. At 6:02 am, we left Ajegunle and journey to Kogi state. Though some of the students were filling very sleepy. So, they slept on the bus. On our way to Kogi state along Lagos Ibadan expressway, a trailer carrying fuel had an accident and it caused heavy traffic on the road. The students were now hungry and start to complain. At Ogbese in Ibadan, capital of Oyo state, we had our breakfast at about 11:00 am. After eating breakfast our journey continued. At4:07 pm the buses also stopped as at Owo in Ondo state and we had our lunch. After lunch, our buses moved and the journey continued. At Akoko Edo, the buses stopped as a student who were pressed went to urinate and at this point, we bought fried plantain as it was so cheap. After all this, the bus did not stop again not until about 9:00 pm, we arrived at Kogi state university main gate. we all came down, carried our bags and luggage and went to our various homes.

Our tour to Lagos was indeed a walk of a lifetime. It helped to promote unity, peace, love and co-operation among students who are of different levels in the department. We saw some of the things we were being lectured in class live. For example, European products used for the exchanged of human beings in West Africa, the journey to the land of no return and destination, attenuation well, and the Atlantic ocean.

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Written by OMATA STELLA UNEKWU

Slim, tall, chocolate in colour, student in the department of history and international studies, Anyigba. A lover of historical writing and its entirety.

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