Today In History: September 13th

September 13, 1863

On this day, King Dosumu of Lagos was fined £50, and pension was forfeited by Acting Governor John Hawler Glover, because the king held a meeting with a French Admiral telling him: “Emi ko fi ilu mi tore o,” that is, I have not given my territory to anyone. Dosumu, had, in August 1861 ceded Lagos and island to the British crown. The King, accompanied by a few chiefs, signed the Treaty of Cession. Under the terms of the treaty, “port and island of Lagos” were ceded to the Queen of Great Britain and the King was granted an annual pension.

However, on the night 12 September 12, 1863, there was commotion in the north and southern ends of the city. In the south, rumors of treason by King Dosumu had triggered a swift reaction from John Glover, the British Lt. Governor. There were reports that Dosumu had appealed to the French on the western lagoons at Porto Novo to take possession of Lagos, and that he had also arranged to attack the British residents. In a flurry of activity, messengers were dispatched around the Marina to all true and loyal subjects of the Queen, asking them to assemble, armed, at the Government House the next morning, September 13, 1863. Glover had summoned the Dosumu to answer to the charge of treason.

When challenged on the remark that he did not hand over his territory, King Dosumu did not deny, and indeed repeated it in the presence of the governor at the conference that day. By it however he doubtless meant, and otherwise in the most distinct manner, he persisted in saying that the cession was not his voluntary act. It was rather too late to complain; whether voluntary or otherwise because he did affix the seal used, instead of signature, to the articles of cession, and had been receiving in accordance with its terms, a pension of twelve hundred bags of cowries, equivalent to the average amount of his former revenues.

 

September 13, 1961

On September  13, 1961, Dr. M. I. Okpara, Premier of Eastern Nigeria and national president of the NCNC has described as “wild, incoherent and without a single proof”, the charges of political conspiracy made against him in Benin by the Premier of Western Nigeria and deputy leader of the Action Group, Chief S. L. Akintola.

Dr. Okpara said that Chief Akintola was making a futile effort to divert attention from “inept and callous rule in Western Nigeria” by pouring insults daily on his person. Chief Akintola, he added, was also incensed

because he did not he did not tell him the details of his discussion with the Premier of Northern  Nigeria,

Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello. “Indeed”, he declared, “the sinner runneth when no man pursueth.”

Dr. Okpara asked, “Why should Chief Akintola imagine that the only subject I could possibly discuss with the Sardauna is the intolerance of his government?” If Chief Akintola imagined that neither the Federal

Government nor the Northern Nigeria government was aware  of the excesses of the Action Group

government of Western Nigeria, then he was living in a fool’s paradise.

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