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Oshodi-Tapa wasn’t a slave of Oba Kosoko, says family

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Oshodi-Tapa. Photo: Oshodi

Oshodi-Tapa. Photo: Oshodi

THE Oshodi-Tapa Chieftaincy family has refuted claims in the media that its patriarch, Chief Landuji Balogun Oshodi, was a slave of Oba Kosoko.

The family was reacting to a publication on December 29, 2014, by Damola Awoyokun titled Lagos, Slave Trade and Founding Fathers (1), where the author claimed, among other things, that Chief Oshodi-Tapa was a slave of Oba Kosoko.

According to Awoyokun, “Prince Kosoko, who was Oba Eshinlokun’s son, did not wait to be King before becoming a major slave trader. Princess Opo Olu, Kosoko’s sister owned 1400 slaves. Oshodi Tapa, Dada Antonio and Ojo Akanbi, like Ajayi Crowther, were former slaves, but unlike Crowther, they rose to become merchants themselves.”

But the family, in a statement insisted that the author erred, as historical facts showed that Chief Oshodi-Tapa was a prince, who rose to relevance in Lagos during the reign of Oba Eshinlokun, the father of Oba Kosoko, after having migrated from Bida in present day Niger State and later placed to oversee security in the inner section of the palace.

They said: “As a matter of historical fact, Chief Landuji Balogun Oshodi had, long before the coming of Kosoko as Oba of Lagos, established himself as a notable figure in Lagos. The coming into Lagos was during the reign of Oba Eshinlokun, the father of King Kosoko.

“As history has it, Chief Oshodi-Tapa, a prince by his own right migrated from Bida in the present day Niger State of Nigeria. On arrival in Lagos, Chief Fagbemi, who reported to the then King Eshinlokun, announced him. After consultation with the Ifa Oracle, the king asked Oshodi to stay with Fagbemi. He later moved to the Oba’s Palace and was placed in charge of the inner section to oversee security.

“These facts,” they claim, “is consistent with many written materials as well as a recent stage play titled “Oshodi-Tapa,” adding that the relationship between Oba Kosoko and Chief Oshodi-Tapa necessitated the support enjoyed by the Oba in his war against the British.

“The support enjoyed by Kosoko from Oshodi was a reciprocatory gesture from Oshodi-Tapa as a result of all Oba Eshinlokun had bestowed on Chief Oshodi-Tapa. This development culminated in Oshodi’s participation in the British war against Kosoko. Kosoko was sent to Epe on exile in 1851 and returned to Lagos in 1862 after all rifts were settled. The return marked the establishment of an area


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