Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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News Desk

Band A: “We don’t want 24 hours electricity anymore,” Obawole residents lament to NERC, EKEDC

"The increase is too much. They should take us back to Band B. We were not complaining," Mrs. Victor lamented to The Record.

What did Prince Harry and Megan Markle do in Lagos?

The couple visited Kaduna and, of course, ended their visit with a trip to Lagos, the centre of excellence, on Sunday, May 12.

Akanmu, UNILAG’s Best Graduating Student, named 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University

He is one of five Africans, and the only one from an African-based tertiary institution, to join the 2024 cohort.

Workers protest ‘unlawful sack’ of 391 Lagos Water Corporation staff

Members of the Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations Civil...

LASEPA vows to improve air quality in Lagos

The Lagos State Environmental Monitoring Research Protection Agency on...

Annals Of Legislation

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Land ownership issues: Lagos Assembly steps in with new bill

The Lagos House of Assembly is considering a Lagos...

State police: Lagos Assembly rejects IGP Egbetokun’s position

The Lagos State House of Assembly has kicked against...

Lagos Assembly to hold stakeholders’ meeting on Land grabbing

According to the resolution, the planned meeting would involve the state government, the police, the judiciary, traditional rulers and others.

Navigating Lagos

Nine highest-paying occupations in Lagos state

According to data from the Lagos government in 2021,...

Preserving Nigeria’s Legacy: Inside the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos

The National Museum Lagos boasts an extensive collection estimated at 47,000 objects, crafted from various materials including wood, ivory, metal, and terracotta.

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos in first two months of 2024

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos...

Where to find co-working spaces in Lagos Mainland

As remote work continues to shape contemporary work culture, these spaces provide valuable solutions for those seeking flexibility, connectivity, and a dynamic work experience in Lagos.

Top five Lagos mainland restaurants for a perfect Valentine’s Day date 

Let's delve into five outstanding restaurants in Lagos mainland that not only tantalize your taste buds but also provide an enchanting atmosphere, making them ideal choices for your Valentine's celebration.

Eko Lifestyle

Discover seven alternative Lagos beaches to Landmark, Oniru, others

Despite these alterations to the landscape of Lagos' coastal attractions, the state still boasts a plethora of breathtaking beaches waiting to be explored. At Ikeja Record, we have compiled a list of viable alternatives for you.

Top 5 budget smartphones, as recommended by Computer Village vendors

  From communication and entertainment to productivity at work and...

Top exotic Spas for self-care in Ikeja

Spa treatments is a form of self-care which offer relaxation, stress relief, and physical rejuvenation, all of which contribute to overall well-being.

Best spot to eat authentic pounded yam in Lagos

The culinary gem nestled in the heart of Lagos not only offers meticulously prepared pounded yam but also embraces the rich tapestry of Yoruba culture in its aesthetics and ambiance.

The enigmatic lure of New Afrika Shrine, Its People and Lifestyle

perience. Similar to Ajao, many viewed the New Afrika Shrine with skepticism, hearing stories portraying it as a haven for questionable individuals or a dimly lit place clouded with marijuana smoke.

The Political Scene

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Is the storm over between Sanwo-Olu and Obasa? 

Is this renewed joviality in the best interest of Lagosians?

Lagos is spending big on infrastructure. But choking on debt.

As of December 2022, Lagos was the state with the highest debt stock across the Nigerian federation.

Three reasons why Lagos House of Assembly rejected Sanwo-Olu’s 17 commissioner-nominees

Beyond geographical and religious factors, the possibility of pending disagreements can not be ruled out.

What Ojodu residents want from LCDA Chairman Segun Odunmbaku

The residents made the requests following celebrations marking Segun Odunmbaku’s two years in office as Executive Chairman of Ojodu LCDA.

Persons Of Interest

Living with Lupus in Lagos: Misturah Owolabi shares her inspiring journey

“ Lupus is not a death sentence, it is a very manageable condition. Do not believe that Lupus is going to hinder you from achieving your goals.”

Lagos-based startup, Midddleman, is bridging trust and logistics gaps in the e-commerce world

Additionally, the co-founder shared that e-commerce companies can now send Yuan/CNY/RMB to their Chinese suppliers through Middleman.

‘I left Ibadan for Lagos to grow my career in tech and now I love the lifestyle offerings’ – Tech Sis

One year after this decision, she found it to be one of the best choices she has ever made. It opened more doors of opportunities that were unavailable to her in Ibadan.

Behind the Wheel: Pelumi Nubi opens up about London to Lagos solo drive

“ I wanted to inspire more women to step out of their comfort zone and do challenging stuff.”

Meet the man who swam across Third Mainland Bridge to raise awareness on silent killer among Lagosians

During his first year at the university, he stumbled upon the swim team one evening and decided to join. It was there that he discovered his love for swimming and the fulfilment it brought into his life.

News Desk

Band A: “We don’t want 24 hours electricity anymore,” Obawole residents lament to NERC, EKEDC

"The increase is too much. They should take us back to Band B. We were not complaining," Mrs. Victor lamented to The Record.

What did Prince Harry and Megan Markle do in Lagos?

The couple visited Kaduna and, of course, ended their visit with a trip to Lagos, the centre of excellence, on Sunday, May 12.

Akanmu, UNILAG’s Best Graduating Student, named 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University

He is one of five Africans, and the only one from an African-based tertiary institution, to join the 2024 cohort.

Workers protest ‘unlawful sack’ of 391 Lagos Water Corporation staff

Members of the Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations Civil...

LASEPA vows to improve air quality in Lagos

The Lagos State Environmental Monitoring Research Protection Agency on...

Annals Of Legislation

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Land ownership issues: Lagos Assembly steps in with new bill

The Lagos House of Assembly is considering a Lagos...

State police: Lagos Assembly rejects IGP Egbetokun’s position

The Lagos State House of Assembly has kicked against...

Lagos Assembly to hold stakeholders’ meeting on Land grabbing

According to the resolution, the planned meeting would involve the state government, the police, the judiciary, traditional rulers and others.

Navigating Lagos

Nine highest-paying occupations in Lagos state

According to data from the Lagos government in 2021,...

Preserving Nigeria’s Legacy: Inside the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos

The National Museum Lagos boasts an extensive collection estimated at 47,000 objects, crafted from various materials including wood, ivory, metal, and terracotta.

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos in first two months of 2024

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos...

Where to find co-working spaces in Lagos Mainland

As remote work continues to shape contemporary work culture, these spaces provide valuable solutions for those seeking flexibility, connectivity, and a dynamic work experience in Lagos.

Top five Lagos mainland restaurants for a perfect Valentine’s Day date 

Let's delve into five outstanding restaurants in Lagos mainland that not only tantalize your taste buds but also provide an enchanting atmosphere, making them ideal choices for your Valentine's celebration.

Eko Lifestyle

Discover seven alternative Lagos beaches to Landmark, Oniru, others

Despite these alterations to the landscape of Lagos' coastal attractions, the state still boasts a plethora of breathtaking beaches waiting to be explored. At Ikeja Record, we have compiled a list of viable alternatives for you.

Top 5 budget smartphones, as recommended by Computer Village vendors

  From communication and entertainment to productivity at work and...

Top exotic Spas for self-care in Ikeja

Spa treatments is a form of self-care which offer relaxation, stress relief, and physical rejuvenation, all of which contribute to overall well-being.

Best spot to eat authentic pounded yam in Lagos

The culinary gem nestled in the heart of Lagos not only offers meticulously prepared pounded yam but also embraces the rich tapestry of Yoruba culture in its aesthetics and ambiance.

The enigmatic lure of New Afrika Shrine, Its People and Lifestyle

perience. Similar to Ajao, many viewed the New Afrika Shrine with skepticism, hearing stories portraying it as a haven for questionable individuals or a dimly lit place clouded with marijuana smoke.

The Political Scene

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Is the storm over between Sanwo-Olu and Obasa? 

Is this renewed joviality in the best interest of Lagosians?

Lagos is spending big on infrastructure. But choking on debt.

As of December 2022, Lagos was the state with the highest debt stock across the Nigerian federation.

Three reasons why Lagos House of Assembly rejected Sanwo-Olu’s 17 commissioner-nominees

Beyond geographical and religious factors, the possibility of pending disagreements can not be ruled out.

What Ojodu residents want from LCDA Chairman Segun Odunmbaku

The residents made the requests following celebrations marking Segun Odunmbaku’s two years in office as Executive Chairman of Ojodu LCDA.

Persons Of Interest

Living with Lupus in Lagos: Misturah Owolabi shares her inspiring journey

“ Lupus is not a death sentence, it is a very manageable condition. Do not believe that Lupus is going to hinder you from achieving your goals.”

Lagos-based startup, Midddleman, is bridging trust and logistics gaps in the e-commerce world

Additionally, the co-founder shared that e-commerce companies can now send Yuan/CNY/RMB to their Chinese suppliers through Middleman.

‘I left Ibadan for Lagos to grow my career in tech and now I love the lifestyle offerings’ – Tech Sis

One year after this decision, she found it to be one of the best choices she has ever made. It opened more doors of opportunities that were unavailable to her in Ibadan.

Behind the Wheel: Pelumi Nubi opens up about London to Lagos solo drive

“ I wanted to inspire more women to step out of their comfort zone and do challenging stuff.”

Meet the man who swam across Third Mainland Bridge to raise awareness on silent killer among Lagosians

During his first year at the university, he stumbled upon the swim team one evening and decided to join. It was there that he discovered his love for swimming and the fulfilment it brought into his life.

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

On Broad Street in Lagos Island lies Freedom Park, a testament to resilience and redemption, where the echoes of Nigeria’s past intertwine with the spirit of its present. 

The first time I visited Freedom Park was one curious night, in 2021. I went to watch a play at the small theatre. I was particularly fascinated by the lighting and decor and how it melded with the night time ambiance. This got me thinking about how it would appear during the day.

Two years later, I decided to revisit the park to explore it further. Before heading out, I conducted some research. I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria’s colonial era.

Her Majesty’s Prisons, also known as the Broad Street Prisons, held some of Nigeria’s most prominent activists and nationalists, including Sir Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Lateef Jakande, and Michael Imoudu. They all spent time there due to their political beliefs and activism.

The prison also held Esther Johnson, infamous for murdering her expatriate lover, Mark Hall, in 1953. She discovered that he had used the £400 she loaned him for her business to marry an English bride.

Freedom Park, once a symbol of confinement and oppression, now stands as a beacon of liberty and cultural discovery.

@ikejarecord

Have you ever been to @freedomparklagos ? You should, if you haven’t! Click the link in our bio to read a detailed review about the park. #freedomparklagos #lagosplaces #lagosplacestovisit #ikejarecord #viralvideo #viraltiktok #wheretogothisweekendinlagos #lagosweekendguide #lagostiktok

♬ original sound – Ikeja Record

From Ruins to Reconstruction 

Several decades after Nigeria gained independence, the Broad Street Prisons was left abandoned, eventually becoming a haven for criminals. In 1998, a group of architects united under the banner of CIA (formerly Creative Intelligence Agency and now Cultural Intellectual Association) came together to initiate a project as the millennium year approached.

Nigerian architect, Theo Lawson, conceived the park’s design with the goal of preserving the freedom stories and cultural heritage of the former Lagos prison. The project was submitted in 1999 during the administration of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

However, action remained dormant until the administration of former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who became keen on revitalising the project to conserve Nigeria’s history and cultural heritage, marking the nation’s 50th-anniversary independence celebration in October 2010.

More than a decade later, this park has flourished into a national memorial, historical landmark, cultural site, and an arts and recreation center, attracting tourists from around the globe.

All you need to know about Freedom Park

The entrance fee is N500, granting access to all areas within the park. For first-time visitors, I recommend opting for the tour ticket priced at N1500. This ticket includes the services of a tour guide who will accompany you throughout the park, providing detailed explanations of its history.

Accompanied by my tour guide, Daniel, we began at the renovated prison cells, now transformed into stalls for traders during festivals. We then proceeded to the food court and lounge area, formerly the prison kitchen, now named Esther’s Revenge in honor of Esther Johnson, a former inmate. 

Moving from the lounge area, we visited the pond area, home to tiny Tilapia fish, alongside the original well from the old prison site.

I appreciate how each building in this park preserves the rich history of the old site, fulfilling Lawson’s earlier vision. During our tour, we circled around the pond and eventually reached the theatre space, formerly the women’s section of the prison.

While discussing the tragic tale of Esther Johnson, we ascended to the mini museum, featuring an art gallery on the lower floor and a comprehensive historical collection of the Lagos Broad Street Prisons on the upper floor.

Exploring the museum was captivating, especially witnessing the recreated prison room with its narrow bed, Bible, stainless bucket serving as a toilet, and a small window for ventilation. Stepping out of the museum, I was guided to an iron bridge, an artistic monument adorned with skeletal frames reflecting the prisoners’ anguish.

I was also taken to the area where prisoners on death row were executed, now reconstructed as the main stage for shows and events. 

As I wandered through its meticulously preserved grounds, guided by the voice of my tour guide, Daniel, I couldn’t help but marvel at the ingenuity of its restoration. 

From the somber remnants of prison cells to the lively energy of its performance spaces, every corner of the park pulsates with the courageous and sad stories of those who once walked its halls.

With each step, I felt a deeper connection to the struggles and triumphs of Nigeria’s past, and a renewed appreciation for the power of collective memory. 

The tour concluded at the food court, following a stroll down to the park’s garden, where I took a few photos by the vintage Lagos ‘Molue’ bus.

While the park lacks playgrounds for children, they can still enjoy playing around the garden area. Despite this, it offers a valuable educational environment for both children (aged 9 and above) and adults to delve into the colonial history of Lagos.

The park hosts various activities and events, ranging from musical concerts, book readings to theatre performances and festivals. You can stay updated on upcoming events by checking their social media pages and websites.

As I bid farewell to Freedom Park, I carried with me not just memories, but a profound sense of gratitude for the visionaries who transformed ruins into a living testament to freedom.

A picture of a storey building inside Freedom Park, Lagos. Credit: Omon Okhuevbie/The Record.

 

Omon Okhuevbie
Omon is a staff reporter at the Ikeja Record.

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