By Emmanuel Udom
Like other Nigerians from various parts of the country, Mohammed Adamu, a 57-year-old indigene of Sokoto State, claimed he arrived Agege, in Lagos 20 years ago to hustle.
But, wikipedia wrote that before the likes of Adamu, got to the area, some other Hausas, had earlier gotten to Agege, became labourers, tree cutters, kolanut farmers and traders, etc.
Alhaji Musa Dogonkadai, the 7th Seriki of Agege told www.csomedia.org that his late father, Seriki Mohammed Dogonkadai, who was the 4th Seriki of Agege, was in Agege, as early as 1863.
Note that this was the reason the Yorubas coined the word Ili Awon Ageigi, which means town where tree cutters reside for Agege.
But, Adamu said he got into Lagos from the Berger-Ojodu axis, on board a trailer loaded with rams and 12 other northerners picked from different parts of the region.
“I could remember that we got to Agege late and all I had with me was a shirt, a trouser; the babaringa I was putting on, and N350 in my pocket, having exhausted the money on feeding.
We slept at Isokoko Central Mosque, in Agege after explaining our situations to the Moslem cleric there, who took pity on us.
The next day, the cleric, contacted some well-to-do Hausa traders at Agege Main Market, located along Old Abeokuta road, Lagos, pleaded with them to help us and the traders allowed us into their stalls to help them sell their wares.
Some of the traders at the market were selling: ginger, garlic, pepper, tomatoes, onions, pineapple, etc.
One of the Hausa traders gave me a wheel- barrow loaded with onions and asked me to move around Agege and its environs to sell the items, for a N200 daily commission.
I moved from Old Abeokuta Road, Capitol Road, Ipaja Road, Wempco Road in Ogba, Oba Akran Road, Akilo Road and some markets to sell the onions.
With that kind gesture from a fellow northerner, Adamu, who confessed he slept for years in groups either at the mosque, along the Pen Cinema railway, open spaces, inside the market, ate once a day, and had three clothes only, said Allah-sent the Onion big-time trader to him.
Today, the Sokoto indigene says though he arrived Lagos from his state, a poor, hungry -looking man, “I can beat my chest now and say, with confidence that I am one of the top traders in Agege Main market.
Wikipedia further stated that Agege Local Government was created in 1954 and operated till 1967 and was merged with Ikeja Local Government Area after the military takeover for 23 years and eventually abolished by the military in 1983.
Agege, Idi-Araba, Isokoko, Obalende, Abule-Egba, Ilupeju, Onigbongbo, Olowu, Ikeja, etc, in Lagos, , Sango Ota, Sagamu, Kara, Ifo, Abeokuta, etc, in Ogun state have been dominated for centuries by northerners, who are popularly known as Hausas.
Alhaji Musa Dogonkadai, the 7th Seriki of Agege, said on Friday that northerners arrived Agege, Lagos, which was then bushy with lots of trees in 1863, and there was no single Yoruba Oba, but Bales.
Speaking through Alhaji Muniru Seriki, his special adviser/ District head of Hausas in Ogba, Dogonkadai said his father, Seriki Mohammed Dogonkadai, who was the 4th Seriki of Agege, was a peaceful man, who ensured that the Yorubas and Hausas live in peace with one another.
This may have further gave the Yorubas, who owned houses in Agege the confidence to entrust their houses to the Hausas, who later bought these houses. A case of from grass-to-greatness.
Dogonkadai confirmed the town of tree cutters angle dished out by the Yorubas and said his people used to travel to Gold Coast, now known as Ghana and Ivory Coast to buy kolanuts in bags, and return to the north the sell the kolanuts.
His words: “Agege was the first transit community the Hausas arrived before spreading to other places and countries to carry out trading and other activities and this is why Sango also means transit point”.
Musa Adamu Seriki, Baraja of Agege, who is also the son of the present seriki said it was the early trust, which existed between Yorubas and Hausas that compelled some Yourba Landlords to allow Hausa traders to sleep in groups either in front of their houses, the mosques, at the various markets, in front of shops, etc.
Over the centuries, most of these houses have been bought by Hausas in Agege and other Huasa dominated communities in Lagos and Ogun state.
Comrade Kenny Martins Bakare, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation, Lagos state chapter, told www.csomedia.org that like other parts of the country, there have been relative peace in Agege, as he noted that an average Hausa man work, speak, sleep in groups, showing a unity of purpose.
Martins, a Yorubaman, said he was the secretary of Agege Community Association between 2015-2017 and noted that President Muhammed Buhari, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of All Progressives congress.
Other top politicians that have also visited the Agege Seriki at his palace located at Fowler Street, close to Isokoko police station in Agege are: Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and Chukuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the late Biafran warlord.
Investigations by www.csomedia.org revealed that from Ile Zik in Ikeja through to Pen Cinema in Agege along the railway line, most of the Hausas, who are selling rams, cows, scraps, fairly used household items, as well as beggars sleep in open spaces, at Isokoko or Agege main markets, around mosques, etc.
A source at Kara, who spoke off record, said daily northerners enter Lagos on trailers to engage in all sorts of odd jobs like: okada riding, selling water, cobbler, nail cutter, water carriers, cooked food sellers, suya business, bureau-de-change business, etc.
An Hausa okada rider, who carried our reporter from Ipaja Road in Agege to Ile-Epo in Abula-Egba on Friday, was reckless in his driving, saying Allah is protecting him and so nothing vil will happen to him or any of his passengers.
Alhaji Sahabi Ibrahim, the Seriki of Ilupeju in Lagos told Nigerian Tribune that most of the Hausas in the state moved from grass-t-greatness after hustling because they are peace loving people.
Prophet Ambassador Solomon Abioye, founder, The Christ Preachers Ministries International Inc, Agege Lagos said Hausa in Agege have always live in relative peace with each other, regardless in what is happening in other communities across the federation.
For instance, the Seriki, the police Yoruba leaders, religious leaders and community leaders have been meetings often to ensure that violence does not break-out in Agege.
Bala Elkanah, Lagos police spokesman said Agege is relatively peaceful, but the issues of cultism and other forms of insecurity is a war the police is tackling headlong.
David Agbede, managing director of Dav Guest House in Ifo, Ogun state, is one person that is not too happy with some Yoruba landlords, who sell their houses to Hausas for bigger amounts.
He said if this trend is not arrested, the Hausas will one day take over the entire houses in Lagos.