Ashipa whose leadership lasted between the years 1600 and 1630 is regarded as the founder of the Lagos dynasty. He is believed by some to be a son of Oba Overami II of Benin but others assert he was an Ijebu from Ibefun. Ashipa by this account had achieved prominence with his noble acts of conveying the corpse of a Bini soldier named Aseru to Benin for burial. Overami, exceedingly impressed by this, had thrown his weight behind him, hence his influence had grown beyond that of Ogunfuminire, the actual founder of Lagos, who from many indications might not be as accommodating of Binis as Ashipa.

Ashipa’s friendship with the Binis might not have gone without some reproach. As stated by a native historian, Ashake Onikoyi, he was denied a place among the people when Ogunfuminire (also called Olofin), his possible archrival, led the people from Isheri to Iddo. It is palpable from the account of this historian who saw Ashipa as a traitor that Ashipa bore superior argument and either he or at least his son Ado was reabsorbed into the Iddo community based on this merit. According to Oba Akiolu, the Lagos palace Iga Iduganran was built by Ashipa on a Pepper farm.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer