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The British occupation of Nigeria ended on October 1, 1960, when Nigeria became a sovereign state, followed by a republic three years later. From 1955, Nigeria’s political situation was dominated by the quest for independence. Different community groupings were pitted against each other in this politicking. Lagos was a hub of considerable political activity at the time. Professional historians have not properly studied the feelings and expectations of people at the grassroot and on the periphery, despite the fact that their perspectives, desires, and expectations of freedom in metropolitan centers have been well documented. Epe exemplifies the emotions and ambiguities felt by these marginalized, undiscovered populations.

Epe’s political structure on the brink of independence in 1960 was based on the town’s historical growth. Despite the fact that the town was created by the Ijebu, it welcomed Awori refugees from Lagos following the British raid on Lagos in 1851, led by the deposed king, Kosoko1. The rise of this group of Awori caused the community to become polarized. As a result, this evolution has influenced the community’s political development up to the present day. Epe’s historical origins, like those of many other Yoruba towns, are fraught with controversy. Epe’s genesis story is split among two different stories. The Huraka tradition is the first, while the Alara tradition is the second.

Epe is an Ijebu-Yoruba town situated on the lagoon’s edge. The development of a fishing industry, commerce, and agriculture has always been aided by this location. When Kosoko, the indomitable exiled ruler of Lagos, invaded Epe in the mid-nineteenth century, it was drawn into Yoruba power struggles and later international diplomacy with the British. When Kosoko returned to Lagos, not all of his supporters did, and their presence had long-lasting effects on Epe politics and society.

Epe, around 77 kilometers from Lagos city, is one of the towns that was incorporated in 1892 when the British defeated the Ijebu kingdom. As part of the British Protectorate, Epe was later integrated into the Lagos Colony.

Epe 1952 Administrative Jurisdiction

By 1952, the town had been placed under the administrative control of the Western Region government, which was led by Obafemi Awolowo, the region’s first Premier. The town also served as one of the Western region’s divisional headquarters.

Population Of The Epe People By 1960

The town had a population of around 20,000 people when it gained independence in 1960. The people’s main vocations were fishing, boat building, and agriculture. Epe Plywood and Epe Boat Yard were two industrial locations established by the AG regional government when the town gained independence.

Epe’s Tradition Of Origin

First is the Huraka tradition

1. Huraka tradition, which was most likely recorded in Epe and Poka.

2. Huraka, a hunter from Ile-Ife, was the first settler of Epe, according to (Oguntomisin, 1999: 1-3).

3. According to legend, Huraka established Poka before moving to Epe.

4. Huraka is reported to have gone hunting with a company of hunters from Ile-Ife. Huraka and his hunters arrived in Poka as a result of this trip. His favorite hunting site in Poka was a tract of forest called Oko-Epe that ran between the Otien River to the north and the lagoon to the east and west.

5. The name Oko-Epe has since been changed to Epe (Oguntomisin, 1999). Huraka was directed by the Ifa oracle to cross the Otien River and settle in Epe from Poka. This happened most likely around the 13th century, according to Chief Olufowobi.

Second the Alara tradition

The Alara tradition is the second version of Epe’s genesis story. This story is contained in a written statement submitted to the Colonial District Officer of Ijebu-Ode in 1939 by Oba Adesanya, the Alara of Ilara, a town located a few kilometers north-east of Epe.

1. It was thought that the Alara Adesowon, a prince from Ile-Ife, was the founder of Epe and several settlements outside the lagoon. He came from Ile-Ife and traveled to Epe via Benin (Adefuye, Agiri & Jide, 1987). On his way, he is supposed to have placed some of his disciples in several locations that ultimately became settlements, including Abigi, Ilagbo, Igbogun, Ise, and Ibeju.

2. Apart from a significant difference in the genesis story concerning the founder or first settler, the two versions differ only slightly in details. This minor divergence, it has been suggested, stems from the Huraka and Alara descendants’ proclivity to twist tradition to support their claims.

3. In terms of institutions, Epe was governed in the same way as other Ijebu towns, with its political institutions firmly in the hands of the Osugbo Iwase, which oversees the people’s daily activities.

Facts About Present Day Epe

  • The Epe plains are mostly arid.
  • Epe has one of the greatest road networks in the state of Lagos.
  • Epe is one of the safest places in Lagos State to live and do business.
  • Epe is located in NEW LAGOS, around a 25-minute drive from Ibeju Lekki.
  • Epe is geographically positioned to allow large projects such as the Dangote refinery, the new seaport, the new airport, the smart city, the Lekki Free trade zone, and a number of multinational firms easy access.
  • Epe has the ability to function as the transport hub for all of Nigeria’s other states.
  • Epe, with its close vicinity to Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, has the potential to become the residential center of one of West Africa’s greatest rising economic capitals.

List of Streets in Ibonwon, Epe Local Government Area 

  • Oba Babatunde Ogunlaja Rd
  • Oba Julius Ogunsanya Rd
  • Oba Micheal Onakoya Rd
  • Odogbawojo St
  • Ogegbo Rd
  • Ogun St
  • Old Odoshiwola Rd
  • Shiwola Rd
  • Sir Michael Otedola Ave
  • Alhaji Chief Mola Musa Rd
  • Bayo Ilupeju Cres
  • Epe Ijebu Ode Road
  • Eyindi St
  • Femi Adeyemi Ave
  • Hon. Lanre Odubote Way
  • Ibonwon-Fawosedi Rd
  • Ilara Rd
  • Itun – Odo St
  • Jamiu Olatunbosun Rd
  • Mosque Rd
  • New Rd

List of  some political Wards in Epe Local Government Area

  • Abomiti
  • Agbowa
  • Agbowa Ikosi
  • Ago Owu
  • Ajaganabe
  • Ejirin
  • Etita/ebode
  • Ibonwon
  • Ilara
  • Ise/igbogun
  • Itoikin
  • Lagbade
  • Odomola
  • Odoragunsin
  • Oke-balogun
  • Oriba/ladaba
  • Orugbo
  • Poka
  • Popo-oba

conclusion

Nigeria continues to struggle with the issue of leadership. With the advantage of hindsight, the majority of Epe people blame their post-independence predicament on inept and visionless leaders. Various literatures from Africa’s post-independence period support the sentiments voiced by the majority of Epe people. The apparent collapse of hopes and excitement that characterized the independence period marked the beginning of the twenty-first century. The inhabitants of Epe, like their compatriots in other regions of Nigeria, witnessed a hiding of their post-independence dreams a few decades after freedom. People’s dreams have been dashed by disappointment.

Sources:

books.openedition.org

Achebe Chinua, A man of the People, London, Heinemann, 1966.

Adefuye Ade, Agiri, Babatunde & Osuntokun, Jide (eds), History of the Peoples of Lagos State, Lagos, Lantern Books, 1987.

Aderibigbe A.B. (ed.), Lagos: The Development of an African City, Lagos, Longman, 1975.

Ajayi Jacob F. Ade, “Expectations of Independence”, Daedalus, Journal of America Academy of Arts and Sciences, vol. 111, no 2, Spring 1982.

Ajayi Jacob F. Ade, Milestone in Nigerian History, Ibadan, Ibadan University Press, 1962.

wikipedia

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