Several attractive epithets have been used to describe Lagos, from time to time. Such epithets include: ‘the state of aquatic splendour’; the ‘centre of excellence’; ‘eko aromisa legbe legbe; (meaning: Lagos, the city with ever flowing and abundance of waters, even in dry seasons’) and ‘eko akete, ilu ogbon’ (meaning: Lagos, the land of wisdom). These descriptions are quite deserving, considering the historic and contemporary developments that distinguish Lagos from other places around the world.
As a former Secretary of the Lagos branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), one of the host branches for the Annual General Conference (AGC) 2022 and a former member of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) which was incidentally held in this same beautiful city of Lagos in 2017, under the leadership of Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, SAN, I consider it fit for me to join many others, in welcoming you, all delegates from the 125 Branches of the NBA across the country, to Lagos State for the AGC.
The 2022 edition is the 3rd time the conference is being held in Lagos, to wit; 2017, 2019 and 2022 in the last five years. This underscores the suitability of the city for such a great event. This year’s conference, however, is the first to be held at the Eko Atlantic City, said to be the most exotic residential and commercial environment in Lagos State and ostensibly, in Nigeria.
Lagos State is blessed with so many places of sights and tourist attractions for your maximum fun and enjoyment. I am, therefore, delighted to share with you as you arrive and seek to enjoy your stay in the city, a bit of history, to remind ourselves of the journey of Lagos.
Lagos is remarkably, a cosmopolitan land of opportunities, inhabited by wonderful people of diverse tribes, cultures, orientation and disposition to life. The city is also home to exceedingly great innovations such as the 3rd mainland bridge; the first storey building in Nigeria, situate at Badagry, the first prison in Nigeria now converted to the Freedom Park in Lagos State, the formation of the first political party in Nigeria being Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP), the first Court facility in Nigeria,and the Supreme Court of Nigeria (prior to its relocation to Abuja in 1992), which facility now serves as the Court of Appeal.
Lagos was a combination of the then colony of Lagos to wit: Lagos Island, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Yaba, Ebute Metta and Surulere. It earned the epithet,‘gedegbe leko wa’ which literally means ‘Lagos stands alone’. However, in 1967, the Yakubu Gowon’s Military Government created Lagos as a State and due to the small size of the area making up the old Lagos, the government had to excise parts of the old Western Region to form the new State. The areas carved out from the old Western Region to form Lagos State were; Badagry, Ikeja, Epe and Ikorodu divisions. This culminated in the acronym ‘IBILE’ as derived from the five components parts of the State, to wit; Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja, Lagos Island and Epe. The five component parts of the State housed the five (5) judicial divisions of the Lagos State Judiciary until recently when the Yaba/Surulere judicial division was created as the 6th.
The state of Lagos was the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria from the 1960s up till 1992 when the then Military Head of State, President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida relocated the Federal Capital Territory to Abuja.
Therefore, dear delegates, friends and colleagues, as we welcome you and wish you a pleasant stay in Lagos, there are several places of interest you may wish to visit, some of which are:
- The Palace of the Oba of Lagos (the Iga Idunganran)
Its modern part was completed and commissioned by the then Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1960.
- Five Star Hotels
a) Intercontinental Hotel, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island with 23 floors and 358 luxury rooms; b) Oriental Hotel at Admiralty Plaza with 181 luxury rooms; c) Eko Hotels and Suites; d) Raddison Blu Anchorage Hotel; e) The Federal Palace Hotel and Casino; f) Sheraton Hotels; g) Southern Sun Hotel; and h) Four Points by Sheraton Lagos etc;
a) Elegushi Private Beach Resort, Lekki;
b) La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Lekki;
c) Moist Beach Club;
d) Baracuda Beach, Lekki;
e) Atican Beach Resort, Lekki;
f) Oniru Private Beach, Lekki; g) Wave Beach Resort;
h) Takwa-Bay Beach;
i) Redline Beach;
j) Landmark Beach;
k) Whispering Palm Resort;
l) Inagbe Grand Resort; Ibeshe Beach, Ibeshe, Ikorodu.
- Major companies in Lekki and environs
a) Dangote Refineries and Petrochemical Plant, Lekki; b) Dangote Fertilizer Plant, Lekki,
c) Lekki Deep Sea Port, Lekki;
d) Lekki Cargo Airport, Lekki;
- Other places of interest are
a) The Atlantic City;
b) Freedom Park, Campbell Street (the first prison in Nigeria);
c) Ikoyi Prisons, Ikoyi;
d) The Kirikiki Maximum Prison, Apapa;
e) The Polo Club, Ikoyi;
f) The Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan;
g) The Yoruba Tennis Club, Onikan;
h) The Museum, Onikan; The MUSON Center, Onikan; j) The City Mall, Onikan;
k) The Lagos Motor Boat Club, Ikoyi, Apapa Tin Can Port; Trade Fair Complex and Tejuosho Market, Yaba, etc.
My dear co-delegates, I heartily encourage you to explore all the pleasures that the beautiful city of Lagos has to offer. I enjoin you all to have fun, be security conscious and make new professional contacts while also renewing old contacts as much as possible. Above all, I trust us all to continue to add value to our respective law practice and the profession we all share and never hesitating to answer, anytime we are called upon to serve our great Association, the NBA.
Long live the Nigerian Bar Association.
Thank you and once again, you are all welcome to Lagos.
ADEBOLA O. LEMA
Former Secretary, NBA Lagos Branch
Former member, NBA TCCP, AGC 2017