Brief History Of Eko Club - The People's Voice


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Brief History Of Eko Club

By Our Correspondent

In the early 1970s, the Federal Government embarked on the major construction of a new road network for the city of Lagos-Island and Mainland, including the Eko Bridge and the Third Mainland Bridge and their access roads. 

This exercise created an unprecedented traffic jam termed 'Go Slow' in most parts of Central Lagos and the nearby Mainland areas of Ebute-Metta, Yaba and Surulere, especially during the morning rush for the office and the evening rush for the home.

During this time, a small group of young Lagosians, most of them professionals back in the country after their years of studies in the United Kingdom and the United States, and who now lived comfortably in the Mainland, mostly in Surulere, instead of the crowded family compounds in Lagos lsland, found it necessary to find a transit base on the lsland, where they could relax and share some cold drinks while waiting for the 'go-slow' to ease before driving home to the Mainland through the only available bridge, the old Carter Bridge They soon found a suitable shop named ‘Agoro Cuts,’ the tailoring workshop and showroom of another Lagosian, Brother S. A. Agoro, nicknamed ‘Boy Liverpool’, at 10, Bishop Street (now Issa Williams Street) near UTC Department Stores on Broad Street, in the Olowogbowo area of Lagos Island.

 The shop soon became the meeting point of these young Lagosians, about fifty of them, who pad been friends for most, from primary schools to secondary schools. 

Many of them attended had Ahmadiyya College, Agege, and had studied in London and were professionals. By December 1973, the meetings and ‘sittings’ of the friends had been so regular that protem officers had to be appointed to direct the affairs of the then unnamed club, and Prince Mutiu Bioshogun Akinsemoyin who later became a high court judge was appointed protem chairman.

 He presided over the formal meetings and the ‘Saturday sittings’ of the ‘House’ where funds were raised towards the cost of a proposed club. 

 The formal inaugural meeting of the Eko Club took place in January 1975 at the nearby West-End Coliseum on Apogbon Street, and Late Rasheed Alaba Williams, the Ajiroba of Lagos, was elected as the first Chairman of the Club, Rilwan Dawodu as the first General Secretary and Fatai Doherty as the first Treasurer.

 The main objective of the club according to its constitution is to foster and promote friendly relations and understanding amongst its members and, no doubt, the Club is living up to this objective. 

 Early in 1978, the Club secured an allocation of a sizeable plot of land behind the Union Bank Sports ground on Bode Thomas Street, Surulere, and in December 1978, the club formally moved to the site in a very impressive ceremony which also incorporated the laying of the foundation stone of the first phase of the Club’s elaborate buildings and facilities complex. 

It was a historical occasion on 31st May 1980 when the club, in its typical colourful traditional ‘Omo-Eko' (Lagosian) Ceremony, led by the president Alhaji Gaffar Danmola who was nicknamed ‘Papa’, commissioned the first phase of the Club House elaborate complex which comprised of the main hall and access, Since then, the club has commissioned all the four phases of its complex and now boasts of one of the best club houses in Nigeria. 

 The Eko Club which began as a club of about fifty close friends who were all Lagosian youths in 1975, had grown into an institution of about six hundred members by the year 2000. 

It is still however very restrictive in its admission policy in view of its history and its Lagos (Eko) brotherhood objectives. 

 The members of the Club are today making their mark in many spheres of life and contributing modestly and eminently to the noticeable development of Lagos in particular and Nigeria generally, in the true spirit and style of the ancestors of Lagos. 

Perhaps, the following list of past presidents of the Club would tell the rest of the story of the Eko Club:Chief Rasheed Williams, Alhaji Gaffar Danmola, Alhaji Fatai Dawodu, Alhaji Winston Gbajumo, Alhaji Ganiyu Williams, Mr. M. Pampam, Alhaji Adebodun Williams, Arc. Wakeel Adebiyi, Engr. M. O. Gbajumo, Alhaji Muri Ashorobi and Prince Murphy Adetoro.

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