History of Hausa Community in Agege, Lagos for Public Presentation

By DADA AYOKHAI

An historical book devoted to the genesis of Hausa and Arewa people in Agege community in Lagos is to be formally unveiled in Lagos at a ceremony which is expected to be attended by Politicians across party divides and socialites.

The unveiling ceremony which is scheduled to take place during yuletide period is according to reliable sources will attracts prominent Nigerians from the political class, Business Moguls, socialite and the Arewa community across the country.

Amongst expected personalities is the Speaker of the house of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Distinguished Senator, Mrs REMI TINUBU, ,.

The author of the thirteen-chapter book, “The History of the Hausa and Arewa People of Agege”, Mukhtar Shuaibu UMAR during an interaction with the media gave insight into the inspiration behind his adventure into the unfamiliar terrain of rendering a historical account of how Agege became the centerpiece of the Hausa settlement in Lagos.

According to him , the book is the product of the challenge by an elderly Hausa friend who felt there was the need for a book detailing the history of how their forebearers arrived and settled at Agege where they traded and mingled with the indigenous people. Many of them were born, bred, and buried in the community.

The author, though not an academic historian, relied mostly on scarcely available materials, documents, interviews and oral tradition, also on his knowledge of the Islamic Hadith, a branch of science dealing with the collection, categorization, and authentication of oral traditions, to weave a compelling narration on the subject matter.

Giving a blow-by-blow account of how he overcame the initial inertia and found the zeal to plunge fully into the tough task of book writing, Mukhtar said the take-off point was the innocuous discussion he had with some friends at Kwakwa Uku, Kano State, a year before his graduation, where an elderly friend of his, Sani Safyan, lamented bitterly about the absence of any historical account of how their forefathers came to settle in Agege.

He stated the outburst by the elderly Safyan served as the impetus for the book even though none of his circle of friends who were present during the discretion had the slightest idea on how to go about the task, adding it took some consultations with his mother to find the courage and bearing amid the perplexity.

On how he was able to chart his course given the maze of conflicting and, sometimes, a misleading mixture of facts and fiction on the subject matter, the author said he was both deliberate and methodical in his approach so as not to appear as either distorting the facts or hyping the fictions.

Giving a peep into the outlay of the book, Mukhtar explained that the book opened with a brief history of Lagos and the earliest time the Hausa/Arewa people appeared on the scene. It then shifted to focusing on Agege: its geography, and legends. Next was the narration of the first set of settlers in Agege as well as an x-ray of its position as a railway town and the kola nut market.

Further inside the belly of the book is an analysis of the socio-economic, political, and traditional growth of Agege as a Hausa settlement, including the various institutions set up principally to regulate inter/intra affairs, as dictated largely by Islam which is the predominant religion of the people.

A whole chapter in the book was also devoted to the discussions on the bureau de change which is a major economic activity of the people. This shows that the trade in currency exchange is as old as the people themselves. The younger generation can also relate easily to it.

In the end, the author provided a lucid description of the socio-cultural milieu of that time in which the Hausa settlers notwithstanding the differences in tribe and tongue still managed to co-habit peacefully with the indigenous people without having to lose their identity or religion.

Indeed, it is a bold and refreshing attempt by the author to recast the historical sojourn of the Hausa people who migrated from.

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