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Migration and Social Change in the Eastern District of Lagos: The Mahin Factor in Epe History
The lagoon serves as a catalyst for economic development in the transformation of Lagos, most especially the eastern district. Fishing is central to the economy of Epe and the entire eastern section of Lagos. However, the fishing industry benefitted immensely from the migrating pattern and economic practices of the Mahin people. Not only were the Mahin central to the expansion of fishing but they also introduced new techniques which radically altered the modus operandi of fishing operations in the community. The influx of these migrants to the town significantly changed the town‟s landscape, with the emergence of Mahin-dominated settlements of Erepoto, Agbala, Orugbo, and other fishing villages. More than any other immigrant group, the Mahin people made the most obvious contributions to the Epe fishing economy. However, their contributions to the socio-political, economic and religious development of Epe are yet to receive adequate attention. Therefore, this study explores the contributions of the Mahin people to the development of Epe. The study argues that, unlike the other immigrant communities in Epe, especially the Awori migrants (Eko Epe), who were able to carve an exclusive social and political niche for themselves in the town, the Mahin immigrants seem to have been perpetually cast into the mould of „stranger‟ immigrants within the town.