The state is located on the south-western part of Nigeria on the narrow coastal flood plain of Bight of Benin. It lies approximately on longitude 20 42°E and 3 22°E East respectively and between latitude 600 22°N.
Lagos State is bounded in the North and East by Ogun State of Nigeria, in the West by the Republic of Benin, and in the South by the Atlantic Ocean. It has five administrative divisions of Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe.
Territorially, Lagos State encompasses an area of 358,862 hectares or 3,577sq.km.
The dominant vegetation of the State is the tropical swamp forest consisting the fresh water and mangrove swamp forests both of which are influenced by the double rainfall pattern of the State, which makes the environment a wetland region, hence, the reference to Lagos as an environment of aquatic splendour. Its wetland environment is characterized by rich alluvial and terrallitic red-yellow soil, on which would be found dense luxuriant undergrowth, climbers, epiphytes and tropical hard woods. Generally, the state has two climatic season: Dry (November-march) and Wet (April-October). The drainage system of the state is characterized by a maze of lagoons and Waterways which constitute about 22% or 787sq, km of the state total landmass. The major water bodies are the Lagos and Lekki 8 lagoons, Yewa and Ogun Rivers. Others are Ologe Lagoon, Kuramo Waters and Badagry, Five Cowries and Omu Creeks.
History of Lagos
Prior to the Portuguese name of Lagos being adopted, Lagos was originally called Eko, which stems from either Oko (Yoruba: "cassava farm") or Eko ("war camp"), by its Bini conquerors. History has it that the Oba of Bini sent various trade expeditions to Ghana where spices were traded and one of his traders complained about the way she was being treated by the Awori's. The Oba of Bini then sent a trade expedition by sea. Ironically, the leader of the expedition arrived in the evening at a time when the people who were predominantly fishermen were either wading into the water or getting into their boats to gather their catch. He declined to engage them further and returned to what is now called Benin City where he reported to the Oba of Bini that they were attacked. This prompted the Oba of Bini to constitute a war expedition led by Ado, a Bini Prince to go to Lagos and demand an explanation. This was over 650 years ago. However, on getting there, they were well received. The people were so enamored with Ado they asked him to stay and lead them. He agreed on the condition that they surrendered their sovereignty to the Oba of Bini to which they agreed. The Oba of Bini was told this and he gave his permission for the expedition to remain. The Oba of Bini later sent some of his chiefs including the Eletu Odibo, Obanikoro and others to assist Ado in the running of Eko. Till today, the Oba of Lagos is the head of all the Kings in Lagos State and his status is different from other Oba's most of whom were later given back their crowns and staff of office only within the last 40 years and have various classifications. Suffice it to state that those who got their crowns back were the original land owners. These were Olofin's children. Moreover, modern day Lagosians have so intermingled that no single tribe or people can claim it even though the predominant language is Yoruba. The present day Lagos state has a higher percent of this sub-group who allegedly migrated to the area from Isheri along the Ogun river.
History has it that the Awori were actually from Ife the cradle of Yorubaland. The Awori people are a peaceful people initially not taken to warfare. Due to war, those from the hinterlands, like the Ekiti ran towards Isheri which at that time had more than one Olofin (Alafin) who were heads of probably respective settlements about 1400AD. With the fleeing people from the hinterlands most of them scattered again to different places, some to Iro, to Otta, Ado, others to Ebute Metta i.e three landing places - Oyingbo, Iddo and Lagos Island (Eko). The Olofin that brought those who went to Ebute-Metta was Ogunfunminire later known as Agbodere. With the full commencement of the war about 2000 moved to the nearest island of Iddo, others to Otto Awori or Otto Ijanikin towards modern-day Badagry. Those from Ekiti Aramoko came to Ebute-Metta, Iddo and then Ijora. The Olofin was said to have 32 children. His own known children are Olumegbon, Aromire, Oloto, Oluwa, Oniru, Onisiwo, Onitoolo, and Elegushi. Ojora, Onikoyi and Mogiso were not his biological children. After the demise of Agbodere, the name Olofin became the name used to remember him while a title of Oloto was given to his seccessor. With one of his sons becoming the Oloto his other children parted ways to what is known as visible settlements in the present day Lagos. Aromire whose name means defeated the river or became the river's friend is likely to be the first to cross being said to have swam across the river. It is possible that his real name is not Aromire but due to the feat he became known as such.
Until the coming of the Bini's, Lagos's geographic boundary was what is known now as Lagos Mainland. Lagos Island, the seat of the Oba of Lagos then consisted of a pepper farm and fishing posts. No one lived there though. The name Eko was given to it by its first King Oba Ado during its early history, it also saw periods of rule by the Kingdom of Benin. Eko was the land area now known as Lagos Island where the king's palace was built. The Palace is called Iga Idunganran which, translated means Palace built on the pepper farm. Oba Ado and the warriors from Benin as well as some of the indigenous people who sought safety settled down in the southern part of Eko called "Isale Eko", Isale literarily meaning bottom, but must have been used to indicate downtown (as in Downtown Lagos).
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