The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia


'In the Wider Interests of Nigeria as a Whole’: Lagos and the Making of Federal Nigeria, 1949-76,” explores how the transformation of Lagos into the capital city shaped the processes of decolonization and post-independence politics in Nigeria. Before and after independence in 1960, the position of Lagos within the country’s regional structure remained a vehement issue until the capital was transferred to Abuja in Northern Nigeria in 1976.

This project examines the contestations over planning initiatives to remake Lagos and the consequences on how residents imagined themselves within the city and the nation. It highlights how tenants, landlords, indigenous associations, and taxpayers engaged the transmutation of the space and status of Lagos. By drawing on under-used photographs, novels, and musical recordings, this research emphasizes the quotidian interactions of urban dwellers with public and private sites to nuance the historicization of spatial change.

First Name: 
Pre-Doctoral (African History)
Columbia University