Sometime this month, I had to be in Ibadan for two appointments and since they were on a Thursday morning and a Saturday, I decided to just sleep over and take a tour of the city.
A little introduction of the city >>>> Ibadan is the capital of Oyo state located in the South Western part of Nigeria and it’s also the country’s largest city by geographical area. It used to be a former British protectorate.
A trip from Lagos to Ibadan should ordinarily be around one hour and thirty minutes but I spent three hours on the road. This was because of the current road expansion going on which I think it is long overdue. I was able to meet up with my appointment right on time and my first point of call afterwards was Amala Skye, a popular buka* in Ibadan. I had heard from friends who went there that a trip to Ibadan without stopping by at this buka was incomplete. By the way, I hadn’t eaten amala in two years. Not like I wasn’t impressed with the amala I ate but I think my expectations were just too high. Left to me, there was nothing special. But well, amala was eaten. I wouldn’t have left Lagos to crave for something else. It’s like going to Russia and looking for a Barack to have a date with while Putin is still alive.
My next tour was to visit the oldest and one of the most prestigious universities in Nigeria., the University of Ibadan (UI). It was officially founded in 1948. It is worthy of note that UI has a lot of great Nigerian writers in their alumni list. They include Chinua Achebe, J.P. Clark, Elechi Amadi, ChukwuEmeka Ike, Femi Osofisan, Wole Soyinka (winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature) among others. I visited the university zoo, walked around a bit and I left for Agodi garden.
Agodi park is just too serene and I hope more of such are built everywhere in the country especially in Lagos. The serenity I found there is uncommon. This will be a great place for an outdoor event especially for weddings and pre-wedding photo shoots. Agodi also has a zoo which has not yet been fully developed and I visited it too. You should definitely visit if you happen to be in Ibadan at any time.
There are other places I would have love to visit in Ibadan but there was no enough time. Places such as the Olubadan’s palace, Mapo Hall, IITA- International Institute of Tropical Agriculture- (one of the world’s leading agricultural research partners for development), and the Cocoa House which is known to be the first skyscraper in Nigeria.
My views on Ibadan in comparison to Lagos >>>
IB is neater.
IB has a better road network.
The customer service experience is also better. There was a time I went to Shoprite and my debit card was messing up. The lady at the counter was so patient with me and didn’t talk rudely. Even the other customers on the queue didn’t snap or get agitated at the longer time I was spending at the counter.
Hurray! It was so refreshing that at the hotel I lodged in, nobody (receptionists and security guards) asked me that silly question of who I was here to see at the hotel’s reception or entrance (one of the sad tales of being female in Nigeria).
Above all, Ibadan was fun while it lasted. What is your favorite city in the south western part of Nigeria or what city in the SW would you like to visit?
*Buka- it is an hausa word that means a little hole in the wall restaurant but is commonly referred to as just a local restaurant.