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A chair market at Badagry in 1910.
A chair market at Badagry in 1910.
Badagry shown within the State of Lagos
Badagry shown within the State of Lagos
Badagry is located in Nigeria
Location of Badagry in Nigeria
Coordinates: 6°25′N 2°53′E / 6.417°N 2.883°E / 6.417; 2.883
Country Nigeria
State Lagos State
LGA Badagry
 • Sole Administrator Jacob Kent
 • Total 170 sq mi (441 km2)
Population (2006)
 • Total 241,093
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)

Badagry (traditionally Gbagle) is a coastal town and local government area (LGA) in Lagos State, Nigeria. It is between the city of Lagos and the border with Benin at Seme. As of the preliminary 2006 census results, the municipality had a population of 241,093.[1]


Badagry is situated on the South-west coast of Nigeria, bordered by the Gulf of Guinea to the south, it is 43 miles Southeast of Lagos and 32 miles west of Seme, a border town in Benin Republic.[2] Like Lagos Island, it is on the bank of inland lagoons, a system of creeks, waterways that are navigable to Lagos and Porto Novo. The distance between the lagoon and the ocean varies along the coast, in Badagry, the distance is about a mile.[2] The depth of the lagoon varies according to season from highs of 3 meters to lows of a meter. The lagoons have a diverse fish population that includes bonga, croaker, longfin pompano, tilapia and catfish.[3] The lagoon consist of brackish and freshwater with seasonal variability, west of Badagry, Yewa River provides water inflow to the lagoon.


There is a traditional Yoruba narrative that the first settlement within the area was an Awori group originally from Ile-Ife who lived at a nearby settlement. Robin Law, a scholar on West African history notes an origin that sprouted out of a resettlement for displaced peoples of varied ethnic groups mostly Ogu people and Oyo Yorubas. Another source link the people living at a settlement called Gberefu, an Island along the coast.[2]

One of the recorded notable events in the history of the town was the acquisition of land by a European trader who was locally known as Yovo Huntokonu. Many sources identify the European to be a Dutch trader called Hendrik Hertogh.[4] Huntokonu who came from the west settled in the town because he was fleeing the wrath of an African chief. He reached the settlement called Apa under the Obaship of Alapa and he was given a farmland to use for trading.[4]

1736 - 1840[edit]

Around c.1736, Huntokonu set up a trading post which began the growth of Badagri main town as a center of trade. Eastward migration into Badagry contributed to the growth of the town. Badagry provided waterways to Lagos and to the interior which enhanced its commercial location. However, the rise of Badagry led to hostilities with Ouidah, the latter sacked the town in 1784.[4]

Commercial activities of slave traders was less in Badagri compared to Bonny, Angola, Ouidah, Calabar, in 1865, slaves transported out of Badagri were 800 while at Porto Novo, the figure was one thousand two hundred and at Ouidah, up to five thousand slaves were transported.[4] The peak period of the slave trade in the city state was between 1736 and 1789 but the trade still continued till early nineteenth century. The trade was dominated by Portuguese and Brazilian traders. After the British abolished the slave trader, notable trader Francisco Félix de Sousa migrated to Badagri around 1807.[4]

See also[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ The area is led by a traditional chief, Akran De Wheno Aholu Menu - Toyi 1, who is also the permanent vice-chairman of obas and chiefs in Lagos State. Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette, published 15 May 2007, accessed 8 July 2007
  2. ^ a b c Harris, Lynn (2017). Sea ports and sea power: African maritime cultural landscapes. Cham. ISBN 9783319469850. 
  3. ^ Bolarinwa, Bamidele; Okeowo, Timothy (July 2017). "The Species Composition and Diversity of the Coastal Waters of Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria - EA Journals". Global Journal of Agricultural Research. 5 (2). 
  4. ^ a b c d e Sorensen-Gilmour, Caroline (1995). Badagry 1784-1863. The Political and Commercial History of a Pre-Colonial Lagoonside Community in South West Nigeria (PhD). University of Stirling. 
  5. ^ "Badagry". Wesleyan Juvenile Offering. London: Wesleyan Mission-House. VIII: 12. February 1851. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 6°25′N 2°53′E / 6.417°N 2.883°E / 6.417; 2.883