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DEBUNKED | First Storey Building In Nigeria Not In Badagry But Gobarau Minaret

by on April 4, 2016
 

By Onyekachi Onuoha

The truth can always resurrect itself in our discourse to understand history, societies and facts. It is our collective desire as humans to be fair even when the narrative have become a popular one in the society. It is on this note that I bring to you the oldest storey building (and oldest building) in Nigeria built with indigenous technology even before the coming of the Europeans. This building is located at Gobarau Minaret and it was built in about 1348-1398  before Nigeria had a contact with the Europeans. The claim by “Nigerian Wiki” and I quote is totally misleading and lacking of merit:

“The ancient history laden structure was erected by the Reverend Henry Townsend of the Church missionary society CMS in 1845…. The building is located along Marina in Badagry.”

The above submission is misleading to generations unborn. It is necessary to reiterate that the oldest storey building is located in Northern Nigeria and was built with indigenous technology before the Europeans actions interrupted our indigenous development. It is necessary that the truth be told so that we critically portray where we are coming from

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I visited the place last year when I was a Corp member serving in Katsina State. I had another opportunity to re-visit yesterday. I had a wonderful time climbing the building although I had a mild case of acrophobia but it was worth it and quite wonderful. The tour guide informed me that the building was first used in calling for prayers and later for watching over the city against external attacks. At the end of the day I was relieved and I feel right now that I owe posterity the responsibility as a writer to tell them the truth.

Here are some more photos for your perusal:

Oldest Building in Nigeria | Gobarau Minaret Town

Oldest Building in Nigeria | Gobarau Minaret Town

Gobarau Minaret Plaque

Gobarau Minaret Plaque

Photo of the environs captured from the top of the building:

Gobarau Minaret Town

Gobarau Minaret Town

Here is the wrongly reported building that I have come to debunk:

Badagry Building | Photo: Lamudi

Badagry Building | Photo: Lamudi

About Onyekachi Onuoha:

He is a critic and a prolific writer in the African Literary scene. He has to his credit: Idara, The Moonlight Lady, The drops of Fascination, My Father Lied, The Fears of Mama, The Scream of Ola, Identity, The Bleeding Passion, The Heresy of Gossip, and a play – Aluta Struggles. Some of his books are required readings in English Departments in some Nigerian Universities. He freelances as an Arts and Culture Contributor for Breaking Times. Follow him on twitter @Onyipoet.

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Disclaimer:

As an editorial policy, Breaking Times neither oppose nor endorse any opinion and contribution expressed by our writers and contributors. Contributions are strictly that of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Breaking Times.

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  • segun
    October 4, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Comment…to onyekachi fooling himself n proving what himself didn’t make thorough research on before posting nonsense because of what he heard from someone I wonder y proving without a glaring evidence talking about minaret building he didn’t even indicate how old d building is of which u knew how old d badagry building is… who is now fooling who? useless n senseless man better go widen up ur knowledge n stop criticizing baselessly

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  • November 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Comment…l want to believe that there are many eminent historians in this country who could have pointed this out earlier. because of easy access to internet many of us rush to print unsubstantiated facts.the writer never mentioned that he interviewed any indigene, traditional ruler or public figure about the minaret..are the people so indifferent or unenlightened that they couldn’t have taken it up themselves?l suspect that the first floor part may be old but the minaret was later added that was why it didn’t qualify. moreover it wasn’t a residential building like that of badagry.

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