Lawmakers in Nigeria’s Lagos state, which includes the country’s commercial hub and biggest city, have asked for the renaming of sites and monuments named after slave traders and colonial officials.
Protests against the killing of George Floyd in the U.S. exposed the “systemic racism, oppression and domination of blacks by whites in spite of the abolition of the vexatious slave trade and related activities since the 18th century,” Noheem Adams, the sponsor of the motion, said during proceedings.
The state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should direct officials in charge of tourism, arts and culture to take steps to hasten the removal of statues and renaming of buildings and monuments, the lawmakers said.
The city inherited its name from Portuguese traders who visited in the 15th century. The coastal town of Badagry, about 43 kilometers (27 miles) west of Lagos, was a major slave port, while monuments honoring colonial officials and slave traders are located in several parts of the city.
Victoria Island, the state’s most affluent district and headquarters to major local and international banks as well as diplomatic offices, was named after Queen Victoria, who ruled the United Kingdom of Great Britain from 20 June 1837 until her death in January 1901 at a time pre-colonial Nigeria was still under British rule.