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Lagos lawmakers propose to decolonise street names

July 3, 2020

 

 

Elected officials in Nigeria’s Lagos state have called on the state’s governor to look into renaming some of the city’s streets in order to remove the reminders of colonialism and slavery.

 

During Wednesday's debate on the issue in the state’s house of assembly, Noheem Adams reflected about the killing of African-American George Floyd, which has sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests around the world.

 

“Some of the names remind us of these people that enslaved our people,” the house speaker Mudashiru Obasa is quoted by the Premium Times newspaper as saying.

 

“Those who dehumanised Africans should not be celebrated,” he added.

But not everyone following the debate agreed.

 

Lawyer Ebun Adegboruwa is quoted in the paper as saying that the lawmakers were being "unduly emotional" and that the names were part of the city's and country's history.

 

Here are some places that could be up for renaming:

 

- Lugard Avenue: home to an old style colonial residence located in Ikoyi area of Lagos Island. The road in front of the building is named after Nigeria’s first Governor-General, Sir Frederick Lugard. He was responsible for amalgamating Nigeria’s southern and northern protectorates in 1914.

 

- Bourdillon Road: named after the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria, Sir Bernard Bourdillon, runs through an affluent part of Ikoyi.

 

- Victoria Island: named after Queen Victoria, it is the main business centre of Lagos state - and also one of the most exclusive and expensive areas to reside in the city.

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