The Nigeria Nostalgia Project - Pre Nigeria Discussion


The Emir of Katsina and his son Usman, 13 September 1924

Gallica -


Conference of Chiefs of the Western Province, Mapo Hall Ibadan 1943

(left to right) The Awujale of Ijebu Ode; the Alake of Abeokuta, and the Ooni of Ife, who was elected President of the conference.


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Brother zone alert @NaijaLander


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Oba Shiyanbola Ladugbolu (C.M.G.), Alaafin of Oyo - 1911 to 1944

date unknown

source National Archives UK


Source: Nigeria Nostalgia Project - Pre Nigeria Discussion


Iconic Photo, I just had to share.

The Illustrated London News - Saturday 16 May 1931

A Nigerian Rulers Court – A Diviner Protecting the Court from Evil Influences Due to the Presence of Strangers

"… taken at the Court of King Shyanbola Ladgbolu [Alaafin Siyanbola Ladigbolu ], C.M.G, the Alifin [sic] of Oyo, in Nigeria, one of the ablest amd most enlightened Native Rulers in that part of West Africa. …

" The figure seen sitting in the center foreground" writes Mr. Reginald Silk in a note on the photograph, "is the King’s Diviner, who takes this position at the entrance to the Palace Court during a session to ward off any evil influences that may be brought about by the presence of strangers, and also to protect the King’s person.


The History of the Yorubas by Samuel Johnson (1921)

How Ibadan Finally Became a Yoruba Town - The Fall of Mayẹ

The marauders who settled at Ibadan after the fall of Oorùn and all the Gbagura towns (as we have mentioned above) comprised the Ifẹ, Ijẹbu, Ọyọ, and Ẹgba chiefs with their men.

Chief Mayẹ an Ifẹ was the acknowledged head of them all. He was a proud, haughty, and irritable man, overbearing to all ; Lakanlẹ the Ọyọ leader (as above mentioned) was the only man who could speak when Mayẹ was in a rage.

The Ifes generally regarded the Ọyọs of the settlement as slaves because they were homeless refugees ; they treated them little better than they would dogs.

Mayẹ handled them with an iron hand, and denied them every security either of their goods or of their lives ; they were oppressed and beaten with impunity.

The Ọyọs, groaning under this yoke of bondage sought every opportunity for lifting up their heads, but the very name of Mayẹ inspired such a dread in all, that no plan could be acted upon.

The bards sang of him as the greatest general of the day, a man who commanded an amount of dread and respect, unsurpassed by any, etc.

But, like Napoleon after Moscow, " From the highest to the lowest, there is but one step ;" so it was with Mayẹ.

His fall was sudden and complete.


Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation by Richard L. Sklar (1963)

The Adolo of Uromi

Anthony Enahoro was born into the leading family of Uromi in Ishan Division in 1923. His great grandfather had been killed by the British and his father spent over twenty years in exile.

As a boy he nursed his hatred of the British and became an avid reader of Azikiwe’s West African Pilot. His nationalist sympathies were particularly aroused by accounts of the Abyssinian [Ethiopian] war.

Later he attended Kings College at Lagos where he became chairman of the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Union of Students.

In 1942 he joined the West African Pilot as a reporter and in 1944 he was selected to edit the Southern Nigerian Defender (Zik Group) at Warri in Delta Province.


In 1945 Azikiwe brought him back to Lagos as Editor of the Daily Comet. Immediately he earned the admiration of young nationalists for his militant support of the workers in the general strike of 1943.

In December 1945, he was convicted for having published an article which was held to constitute a seditious libel against the former Governor, Sir Bernard Bourdillon, and sentenced to nine months in prison.

In 1947, he made a speech at Warri advising African policemen to disobey orders to shoot African strikers. He was convicted for seditious utterance by an African judge and sentenced again to three years in prison, although the term was reduced to eighteen months by the West African Court of Appeal.

He served twelve months during which he time did gardening, stone breaking, and a good deal of reading.

(“Prison,” he says, “was my school.")


Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation by Richard L. Sklar (1963)

National Investment and Properties Company

In 1962 a federal commission of inquiry into the financial practices of the Western Regional Government impugned the character of the National Bank’s relationship with the Action Group.

The bank was alleged to have extended unsecured loans to the Action Group through fictitious accounts and to have concealed the actual indebtedness of the party from a federal examiner.

But the main channel of funds for the Action Group between 1959 and 1961 was yet another company, the National Investment and Properties Company Limited, owned in its entirety by four leading members of the party.

This company had been created in 1958, ostensibly to develop properties previously owned by the National Bank. Its real purpose, the commission alleged, was to finance the Action Group.

Three of the four directors of the company were prominent businessmen holding high party office — Dr. Akinola Maja, “Father of the Party,” Chief S. O. Gbadamosi, Federal Treasurer, and Chief S. O. Sonibare, Federal Publicity Secretary; the fourth, Mr. Alfred Rewane, was the Director of the Western Nigeria Development Corporation and political secretary to Chief Awolowo.

The commission of inquiry disclosed that this company had received loans in excess of £6,000,000 from the Western Regional Marketing Board. Over £2,000,000 more, allocated by the Marketing Board to the Western Nigeria Development Corporation, was also diverted to the company, which realized close to another million pounds from the sale of property to the Western Regional Government at inflated prices, and by other means of questionable legality.

During this period, mainly between 1959 and 1961, the company contributed more than £4,000,000 to the Action Group.


Ijo or Itsekiri Paddle - not dated

" Paddles such as these, which are often labeled “Benin River,” seem to have been produced by the Itsekiri

Fowler Museum at UCLA -


Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation by Richard L. Sklar (1963

The Zik Group

In 1944 [Dr.] Nnamdi Azikiwe acquired a small property bank, the Tinubu Properties Limited, to buttress the financial foundations of his newspaper business.

A few years later it was renamed the African Continental Bank Limited, and Dr. Azikiwe assumed the offices of "Founder, Governing Director and Chairman.”

In 1949 the bank’s nominal capital was £250,000; all but a small percentage of those shares that were assigned to individuals were held by Azikiwe himself and a few members of his family.

Some 55 percent of the shares were held by four companies in the [so-called] Zik Group of companies, namely Zik Enterprises Limited, publisher of the West African Pilot and three firms involved in Azikiwe’s publishing business, namely, the African Book Company, the Nigerian Paper Company, and the Nigerian Printing Supply Company.

As Dr. Azikiwe owned from 45 to 63 percent of each of these companies his personal control of the bank was assured.

The bank itself was one of 12 companies in the Zik Group and its purpose, according to Dr. Azikiwe, was primarily to finance the activities of the Group.

  • Chauffeur of Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe, Premier of Eastern Region 1959 © Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives


Nana Olomu - I

Nana Olomu was born at Jakpa Town, Benin River, in the year 1852.

He was the son of Olomu, founder of the well known town Brohimi, a powerful warrior and trader of Jekiri parentage, who ultimately became head of the Jekiri tribe.

Nanna’s mother was a woman of Efuru, a large town near Warri.

He had one brother and a sister, as well as 48 half-brothers and 42 half-sisters. At his death Olomu left direct issue by his numerous wives, numbering 92.

Nanna was brought up by his grandmother, Woroko, a woman of good birth, from whom, and his father, the lad learnt and treasured up in his memory the ancient stories of Jekiri and the surrounding country, and he became known as one of its best historians.

He was soon called upon to serve in his father’s state war-canoe, Mini Warra, first as a paddler, and then as one of his father’s bodyguard, while his elder brothers were commanding their own war-canoes.

His father’s six famous wars were Ojeya, Ochemone, Shanomi, Diare, Ogregba and Aligigu, in which he successfully defended himself against other great Chiefs, jealous of his growing power.

It was during these wars that the father took note of the daring character of his young son.

At Eghorujor, Nanna, now promoted to be a commander with his own war-canoe, was the first to land under heavy fire, and the first to take prisoners. It is also said that he defended his father against his own war-boys, who, in the confusion of a night skirmish, had attacked him unknowingly.

About the same time he plunged into a deep river and saved the life of a wounded war-boy who had fallen in.

During the Eku war he was made Commanding General, and in 1872, Protector, i.e., Deputy for his father, a position he retained until the latter’s death twelve years later.

George W. Neville

Journal of the Royal African Society.

October 1914


The African Times and Orient Review, March 24 1914

An Insult Received from an European

Sir, — On the 12th of July, I went out to see if I could find anything useful to buy in one of the factories at Onitsha.


When I got to one of the shops called by the Natives “New Company,” I saw a native customer begging the White man who is the Agent-in-charge of the shop to reduce the exorbitant price of the article he was about to purchase; but instead of telling the native customer, “No, I will not do so,” he instantly rebuked the native customer by saying the following words:— "Get out of here, you black man.I Don’t you know that I am a white man and you are not fit to talk with me? I am a tradesman, but I am not one of the C.M.S. Missionaries who are always kind to you. We tradesmen act in the same way as Government Officials.’

If any man think deeply, he would easily apprehend that this insult was caused by racial pride which some Europeans carry in them, thinking that they are the only people whom God created in his own image.

Yours truly,

Onitsha, Nigeria. O.C.D.

  • photo from The coaster at home : being the autobiography of Jack O’Dazi, palm oil ruffian and trader man of the River Niger by J.M. Stuart-Young (1916)