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Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison - Travel - Nairaland

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Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 3:41pm On Nov 26, 2018
On Thursday, 20th September, 2018 my 'Tourism' Community Development Service (CDS) group, embarked a visiting tour to the Freedom park (formerly Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison), which is located at Broad Street, Lagos island.

And here's how the day went:

I woke up at about 5:30am, prepared and left for the NYSC Secretariat at Surulere, which was our bus take off point at about 6:23am. Around 9:32am, our bus arrived and we left for Lagos island.

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 3:45pm On Nov 26, 2018
Before we arrived at our destination, we passed a couple of historical buildings along broad Street that bears remembrance of the British colonial era. Among them were:

The famous
Cathedral Church of Christ, 1946 *responsible for the popular CMS bus stop landmark on the island

St Anna's courthouse, 1925

CMS bookshop, 1869

Shitta Bey Mosque, 1894

St George's hall, 1907

Old Government printing press, 1896

African Church Cathedral [Bethel], 1890s'

It's commendable how these architectural pieces of history have been preserved for several decades until date. I couldn't take pictures because we were in transit, but here's a link for those interested to see these buildings: http://ndanilifestyle.com/lagos-island-in-two-hours-a-victorian-perspective/


We finally arrived at the Freedom Park and sorted out our entrance fee at the gate (N500 per folk) before we proceeded to meet our tour guide, who treated us to a history/guide of the place.

(Pictured below:
Meeting our tour guide


Introduction to Freedom park)

Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 3:48pm On Nov 26, 2018
History of Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison/Freedom Park:


In 1861, the British gunship, Prometheus,threatened the then Oba of Lagos, Oba Dosunmu who acceded and handed over Lagos to the then Queen of England, Victoria, effectively making Lagos Island a colony of the British. 
With the annexation and subsequent colonisation of Lagos, and then Nigeria, in 1876, the colonial government passed the 'prison's ordnance' that introduced their own concept of crime and criminal justice to the colony, to enforce order and protect their economic interests.

Because the British criminal justice system allowed for the creation of the penal system, this prompted the design and construction of prisons.
Hence in 1872, eleven years after Lagos island was ceded, the British built Her Majesty’s Prisons – which later came to be known as the 'Broad Street Prisons'.

(Pictured below: enlarged print of the original Plan of the Prison

About the Prison)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 3:52pm On Nov 26, 2018
The initial prison structure was built in 1882 with mud walls and grass thatch but did not last long as it was an easy target for anti-colonialists.

"They kept throwing fire into it and setting it ablaze and so then in 1885 the colonial government imported bricks from England and rebuilt the prison," says architect Theo Lawson.

"What was even more remarkable was the bricks were imported for £16,000 and that year the British spent £700 on education in the colony, so it shows the priority then was on law and order," says Mr Lawson, who drew up the plans to turn the former prison into Freedom Park.

But it's notable to state here that this brick fence remains the only non demolished structure of the former prison today, after over a century when the prison was constructed.

The anti-colonialists who destroyed the former fences would later be arrested by the force, who were made up of mostly Hausa speaking natives from the then Northern protectorate. The colonisers deliberately chose military recruits from northern Nigeria in order to have a disconnect between the local population and the personnel tasked with imposing law and order and violently suppressing any resistance to their rule.

In the years leading to Nigeria’s independence, the prison was a maximum security prison where political prisoners, amongst other prisoners were kept. The Broad Street Prisons held some of Nigeria’s foremost activists and nationalists like Sir Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Lateef Jakande
and Michael Imodu who all served time there at one point or the other due to their political beliefs and activism.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was imprisoned here in 1963 while undergoing trials for charges of treasonable felony for purportedly conspiring to overthrow the federal government along with some other members of his Action Group political party. 

There’s even a myth that Chief Awolowo placed a curse on the place, the curse of which was responsible for the site being in a derelict, undeveloped state for decades until its transformation into a park.

(Pictured below:

Chief Awolowo


profiles other un-named prisoners who did time in the prison


Sir Herbert Macaulay

I like this man's stache gan grin)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 3:54pm On Nov 26, 2018
But the most discussed inmate at the Prison till date was a 22 year old Esther Johnson, popularly known back in the 50s as 'Ada Ocha Ntu' who murdered her expatriate lover, Mark Hall, in 1953 after she found out he’d used the £400 she loaned him for her business, to marry an English bride while he was on holiday in the UK.
Mark also used 'change' grin of Ada’s money to buy his new bride a car which she would use as a taxi cab. He returned to Nigeria and told Ada what he’d done with her money and a very furious Ada used a pair of scissor to stab Mark. Mark eventually died from injuries sustained from the attack.

(Pictured below: Esther Johnson and the first Yoruba Mark Hall)[s]But the most discussed inmate at the Prison till date was a 22 year old Esther Johnson, popularly known back in the 50s as 'Ada Ocha Ntu' who murdered her expatriate lover, Mark Hall, in 1953 after she found out he’d used the £400 she loaned him for her business, to marry an English bride while he was on holiday in the UK.
Mark also used 'change' grin of Ada’s money to buy his new bride a car which she would use as a taxi cab. He returned to Nigeria and told Ada what he’d done with her money and a very furious Ada used a pair of scissor to stab Mark. Mark eventually died from injuries sustained from the attack.


(Pictured below: Esther Johnson and Mark Hall the sweet boy association founder grin)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 3:56pm On Nov 26, 2018
She was arrested, tried and, in 1956, convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.
Ada remained on 'Death row' in Broad Street Prison until her sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.
In 1961, on the first anniversary of Nigeria's independence, perhaps recognising that her crime was a crime of passion', Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe pardoned Ada 'Esther Johnson' Ntu "in the name of the Queen." Her story went viral globally and carried even by international tabloids like the NY times and UK's Telegraph, etc.
Today, on the grounds of the park is a section called 'Esther’s Revenge', in remembrance of the infamous female inmate.

(Pictured below: an enlarged front page publication of the NY times bearing Esther Johnson story)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 3:58pm On Nov 26, 2018
In preserving the history of this place for future generations, the Lagos State Government chose to recreate the former space of oppression and colonialism into a memorial park.

(Pictured below: model of present day Freedom Park)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 4:02pm On Nov 26, 2018
In October, 2010 Freedom Park was opened as part of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nigeria's independence celebration. The Park serves as a National Memorial, a Historical landmark, a Cultural site, Arts and Recreation centre.

After the (long) history lesson, we took our tour further round other areas in the park where we were told that the present structures in the park we're seeing were erected on same spots of notable parts of the then Broad Street Prison.


In one corner of the prison is where condemned prisoners were executed by hanging.
"It was very shocking indeed - to watch this man being brought in, cloth over his head and then prayers for him," recalled Kofi Duncan, who worked as a doctor in the prisons in the early 1960s shortly after independence.
"The man who carried out the executions had to be brought from northern Nigeria. He has to be somebody who knows nobody at all," said Dr Duncan.
"All he has to do is come into this small room and when they say 'go' he pulls and the trap door opens. Brrrrrm bang," he said, adding that he then witnessed the prisoner's tremors and after one and a half hours he had to do a medical examination to confirm he/she was dead.
Where the hanging gallows used to be, is now a stage where notable performances have been done.

Where the kitchen used to be, is now a food court today.

(Pictured below:
A typical hanging hallow in the Park's Museum.

Former Gallow/Present day stage

Present Food court/formerly Prison kitchen)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 4:08pm On Nov 26, 2018
In the centre of the Park, one cell block has been rebuilt and is a chilling reminder of the conditions. Each cell is just 1.2m x 2.4m (4ft x 8ft). Our guide told us each cell was containing just one inmate, but this increased gradually to about eight per cell when the Prison eventually became overpopulated.

Where the record's office used to be back then is now a museum today.

Where the bath area used to be, is now a water fountain area in the park.

(Pictured below:
Former male cell block

former record's office/Present day museum

former bathing area/Present day fountain area)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 4:14pm On Nov 26, 2018
We went on to wander about the Park's garden which is filled with several statues, celebrating the several tribes and their tradition in Nigeria.
Some other notable art works depict the sad life of a prisoner in broad Street prison such as hanging, slavery revolt, freedom, etc


(Pictured below:

Statues around the park

Art works illustration of the prisoners)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 4:19pm On Nov 26, 2018
In the centre of the garden is a statue celebrating the three founding fathers (aka the three wise men) of Nigeria's independence; Chief Awolowo, Dr Azikiwe and Dr Bello.


There's also a bust of Professor Soyinka in the garden, amongst other art works

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 4:23pm On Nov 26, 2018
We completed the last leg of our tour by visiting the museum which holds several artefacts recovered from the ruins of the 1979 demolition. It also features an art gallery displaying several cultures of the country.

(Pictured below:

Artefacts

Art Gallery)

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 4:31pm On Nov 26, 2018
We rounded up the tour, posed for pictures and took our break before our departure at about 2:05pm.


Cc' Explorers , lalasticlala , Dominique , Mynd44 ,DisGuy , justwise , seun


References:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Park_(Lagos)

http://www.informationng.com/2015/01/meet-the-nigerian-woman-who-killed-her-white-lover-for-cheating-in-1953.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28418685

https://passnownow.com/freedom-park-lagos-the-former-prison-that-tells-the-story-of-nigerias-independence-see-photos/


I have a diary of my experience in Orientation camp few months ago, you can read it here: https://www.nairaland.com/4794108/experience-nysc-orientation-camp-iyana



Also read about our tour to Freedom Park (formerly Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison) here:

https://www.nairaland.com/4868531/corpers-trip-freedom-park-lagos



Read about another trip I made with friends to Nike art gallery here:

https://www.nairaland.com/4967944/visit-nike-art-gallery-lekki


Another one to Lekki conservation centre here:
http://20somethingsteps.com.ng/2019/06/20/the-lekki-conservation-center-a-visit-to-nature/

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by Richdad50(m): 6:04pm On Nov 26, 2018
Data consuming post. Not good for those managing data.
Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by pol23: 6:05pm On Nov 26, 2018
Being living in Lagos for 5 years now...
Anytime I think about visiting places...na traffic dey first cut the plan...
I will make plan to visit this place this weekend...
Oh...
There will be a lot of traffic ooo...
Maybe early next year when the road used to be free because our Igbo brothers go still dey rock their village..

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by ThinkWISELY: 6:06pm On Nov 26, 2018
Celebrating foolishness and slavery angry

Corper's with empty skulls,the ones assigned here every year knows nothing angry

Olodos

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by lomaxbien(m): 6:07pm On Nov 26, 2018
Nice
Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by TheAngry1: 6:07pm On Nov 26, 2018
Visit Lagos!!!

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by jauntty: 6:10pm On Nov 26, 2018
One of the Coolest coded places I use to hangout in Lagos...

There are always lots of entertainment events there

But I don't miss Lagos one bit grin

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by nonye6194: 6:11pm On Nov 26, 2018
Richdad50:
Data consuming post. Not good for those managing data.

but you open am abi grin

1 Like

Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by TheGreenLand: 6:11pm On Nov 26, 2018
This is a good lifetime experience......

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by chloride6: 6:12pm On Nov 26, 2018
Who be Dr. Bello?

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by Racoon(m): 6:12pm On Nov 26, 2018
-1)."Study the past if you would define the future." – Confucius;

-2).“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana
Historical sights.Our histroy is important.
Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by sonnie10: 6:14pm On Nov 26, 2018
Esther Ada Ntu Ocha's story is an eye opener. So this romance scam did not start with Nigerians after all.

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Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by moscobabs(m): 6:22pm On Nov 26, 2018
H
Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by Ralphlauren(m): 6:25pm On Nov 26, 2018
Reminds me of my trip to Alcatraz island
Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by Mizwisdom(f): 6:26pm On Nov 26, 2018
I need to pay a visit
Re: Corpers' Trip To Freedom Park Lagos, Formerly 'Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison by DisGuy: 6:32pm On Nov 26, 2018
chloride6:
Who be Dr. Bello?

Ahamdu Bello?

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