TODAY IN HISTORY: September 20

September 20 1830

On this day, Richard Lemon Lander, a British Explorer and his brother, John, moved on the Niger to discover its depth.

In 1825, Richard Lander had accompanied Scottish explorer, Hugh Clapperton, as a servant, on his second expedition to the northern region. After Clapperton’s death near Sokoto in April, 1827, Lander proceeded southeast to Kano and then returned to the coast through the Yoruba country.

At the request of the British government, Lander went again to West Africa, accompanied by his brother John. They landed in Badagri, on March 22, 1830.

They immediately took off by the route previously taken by Clapperton to Bussa on the right bank of the Niger and reached Bussaon the 17th of June, 1830. They ascended the river for about 160 kilometers. After exploring about 160 kilometers of the River Niger upstream, they returned to Bussa and, on the 20th of September, 1830, decidedto explore by a hazardous canoe trip, downstream to the River Benue  not knowing where it would lead them. They journeyed in these leaky canoes accompanied by a few negroes, and their only scientific instrument, a common compass. They were able to prove that the Niger flows through many mouths into the Bight of Benin. They found the source, route and mouths of the Niger River, that up to then had been unmapped. They became the first Europeans to follow the course of the River Niger, and discover that it led to the Atlantic.


September 20, 1961

On September 20, 1961, representatives of both the Action Group and the NCNC in Benin Division resolved to observe a political truce in the Division. In a joint statement in Benin on that day, representatives of the two parties unanimously resolved to do all they could to ensure peace and order in the Division.

The meeting was summoned by the Senior Divisional Adviser, Benin Division, Mr. R. Karker to find ways and means of curbing political disturbances in the Division and to allay the fears of the people against continued danger from further disturbances in the area.


September 20, 1961

It was officially announced in Kaduna on this day that twenty Northern Nigerian teachers had been awarded scholarships under the Commonwealth Teachers’ Training Bursary Scheme. Under the scheme, the students will do one year’s course at universities and training colleges in Britain. The main purpose of the scheme, it was stated, was to help students from developing countries of the Commonwealth who were likely to profit training in Britain so as to enable them to play a valuable role in the educational development of their countries. The scheme is also said to have been devised at the Commonwealth Education Conference in Oxford some two years earlier.

Eleven of the recipients who were attached to the Stranmillis Training College were: Mr. E. A. Agbogun, Mr. J. D. Chinade, Malam A.T. Inuza Ringim, Malam I. Makarfi, Mr. A. M. Oniyangi, Mr. J. R. Timayia, Mr. J. A. Aina, Mr. J. T. Degoshie, Malam A. M. Koki, Mr. S. I. Oladipo and Malam A. Sokoto. Six of the students who attended the Dundee College of Education were: Mr. J. J. E. Fadie, Malam E. A. Jibiri, Mr. J. A. Olorunnisola, Mr. S. O. Fashogba, Mr. H. A. Olaosebikan and Mr. A. E. Bolly. Mr. I. O. Ajayi and Mr.  J. I. Torunleke undertook their course at the Leicester Training College, while Mrs. M. O. Ogunniran was attached to the Hareford Training College.


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