I was forced to return to my history book, Aros of South Eastern Nigeria by Prof. Kenneth Onwuka Dike when I read a newspaper report that the first storey building in Nigeria was built in Badagry, Lagos in 1842. I had read about a storey building watch tower in Anambra state of Igboland built during the slave wars in the 1700s. There are Hausa storey buildings also predating the Badagry building. If the Badagry building is called first modern storey building in NIgeria, that’s okay but not first storey building in Nigeria. Here is a war lookout tower that dates to before the 1700s still standing in Nnewi in Anambara state.
There were other storey buildings in Igboland and beyond predating the Badary’s. Our effort should be to find and refurbish them and help to recover our stolen history.
This tower is twenty feet high (excluding the roof). The average height of a modern simple two storey building is about twenty feet high (again excluding the roof)
Although this is a very poor quality photograph, it is important for us to note that this tower appears to be constructed using very large mudbricks. The size of these bricks appears to be much much larger than what we would normally find in everyday construction today. This is unusual brick size in Igbo architectural style.
Another important thing to notice is on the upper level of this tower, the builders employed a construction technique that we have seen in other large scale mud structures – scaffolding support using bamboo or wood poles.