There’s been a huge debate concerning what city was the first capital of Nigeria. Due to that, we decided to carry out a thorough research to provide you with the most accurate answer.
Presently, Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. But was it always that way? The simple answer to that question is NO. The amalgamation of Nigeria took place in 1914 and Abuja was created in 1991.
Before, during, and after the amalgamation, there was certainly a government in place, since every government needs a base or headquarters to carryout its administration.
In general, the debate concerning what city was Nigeria’s first capital has been between Lokoja, Calabar, Asaba, and Lagos.
We’ll address each of these cities one-by-one to provide information as to why there’s been claims of each being the first headquarters of our nation.
Was Calabar Nigeria’s first capital?
Reading into the history of Calabar on Wikipedia, you’ll notice that it was declared the capital of the Niger Protectorate, Oil River Protectorate, and The Niger Coast Protectorate — in the late 19th century.
All the aforementioned time-frames were before the amalgamation of Nigeria — which took place in 1914.
Therefore, since Nigeria didn’t exist as at that time, it’s incorrect to call Calabar its first capital.
Was Asaba Nigeria’s first capital?
According to history, the British Convoy settled in Asaba and began Administration right from there. However, this all took place in the late 19th century — during which there was no Nigeria. Therefore it’s also wrong to refer to Asaba as the capital of an inexistent nation as at that point in time.
Was Lokoja Nigeria’s first capital?
According to Wikipedia and other reliable sources, Lord Lugard — Nigeria’s first Governor General — ruled from Lokoja before, during, and shortly after the amalgamation of Nigeria.
Also, the Lady who gave Nigeria her name, Flora Shaw, was settled in Lokoja as at then. And that explains the claims surrounding it.
However, it is also incorrect to refer to Lokoja as Nigeria’s first capital — since, officially, it was never declared so.
Was Lagos Nigeria’s First Capital?
Officially, Lagos was Nigeria’s first capital. It was named administrative headquarters of the southern protectorate in 1906 — receiving the mantle from Calabar.
Lagos held that position from then until the Amalgamation took place in 1914, after which it was officially declared capital of Nigeria.
It was so until 1991, after Abuja was carved out from Kogi, Nassarawa, and Niger States to form Nigeria’s new capital.
Remember this: Lagos and Abuja are First and Second Capital of Nigeria respectively. There isn’t a third or fourth at the moment.
Instead of giving you a blunt YES or NO answer, we have gone through the stress of providing you with details.
With this you should be able to confidently provide an answer if you get asked related questions in a quiz.