Home news Meet Prince Abibu Oki, First Balogun of Lagos (PHOTOS)

Meet Prince Abibu Oki, First Balogun of Lagos (PHOTOS)

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One of the few portraits recovered from his grandson, Omoba Murphy Adetoro

 

Prince Abibu Oki, the first Balogun of Lagos (1919 – 1935), was Otunba Murphy Adetoro (pioneer Eti Osa Local Government Chairman) grandfather while his wife was from the royal family of Elegushi in Eti Osa.

He was a lovable personality. His popularity in Lagos Island soared further when he indicated interest in contesting for the pioneer Balogun of Lagos.

However he faced a stiff opposition from the enigmatic Chief Alli Balogun, a revered historian and socialite. Being generous and loved by his people, Prince Abibu Oki eventually won the election. There was wide jubilation across Lagos so much that the popular musician ‘Lefty’ wrote a famous song in his honour because aside from his philanthropist nature, Oki contributed a lot to the development of Islamic religion in Lagos State, particularly in Ansar’u Deen.

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The song goes thus…

Oki Balogun lo so Ilu Eko d’ero (Oki Balogun made Lagos comfortable and habitable)

Oki na owo, n’owo ooyo X2 (Oki spent money without second thought)

Oki Balogun lo so Ilu Eko d’ero (Oki Balogun made Lagos comfortable and habitable)

 

His election and emergence as the first substantive Balogun really generated some sort of buzz around Lagos. Every Friday after the Jumat service, people would converge at his house in Lagos Island and he would feed them. At one point (1931 to be specific), he was made the president of Ilu Committee. Until he died, Oki remained one of the most carefree and beloved public figures of his time.

Today, he has a street – Abibu Oki (off Broad Street in Lagos Island) named after him.

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Meet 1st Balogun of Lagos - Prince Abibu Oki
Alimat Shadiya Asake Oki

His wife, who happened to be Adetoro’s grandmother, Alimat Shadiya Ashabi hailed from Eti Osa area while her own father was Chief Abu Bakare, the old Elegushi of Lagos (1934-45).

 

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