British Annexation of Epe and Ikorodu, 1892–94: A Historical Survey

Oduwobi, T. (2015)

Staff publications

Book chapter

This paper examines the nature and character of British colonial acquisition in Ijebuland at the end of the nineteenth century. The defeat of the Ijebu Kingdom in 1892 by the British weakened the central authority of the state in the face of the development of fissiparous tendencies encouraged by the British for their political and economic interests. In the event, the Ijebu state not only lost its sovereignty, it was broken into three divisions under British colonial administration. One of these, encompassing the lagoon portions of Ijebu territory, was ceded to the British crown by two separate treaty agreements. The first was in 1892 incorporating Epe and its environs, while the second was in 1894 covering Ikorodu and surrounding area. These events were to have enduring legacies, for the territorial cessions were to establish the eastern boundaries of what became Lagos State in post-independence Nigeria. Of even greater significance is that over half a century of separate administrative experience by these Ijebu communities from the rest of their historical kin has developed in them a distinct identity closely bound with the interests and existence of Lagos State. Thus present-day clamour and movement for the creation of Ijebu State in the country advisedly exclude the Ijebu-speaking population of Lagos State.