SIR: If you are not coming through the ports, the ancient and Nigeria’s largest city by geography, Ibadan, remains your major entry point from any part of Nigeria to the megacity and most populous city of Nigeria, Lagos. Ibadan and Lagos share such close proximity that the relationship between the two states is so intertwined and had birthed an age-long cultural saying that, ‘Bi e ba wa mi de Eko, ti e ko ba mi n’ile, Ibadan ni mo wa’ (If you seek me in Lagos and cannot find me at home, I am in Ibadan). The Lagos-Ibadan expressway is said to be the busiest in the country, as it connects to the southern, eastern and northern states as a major route. This busyness is confirmed by the thick traffic you always see on the expressway. Consequently, the social challenges of Lagos automatically find their way into the ancient city as well.
One of the challenges fast rising in Ibadan as development rises is the accumulating traffic. As a commuter on Ibadan routes, what we have had on the major roads in the last two years has been an unusual manner of traffic. The congestions have suddenly accumulated. Iwo road is a popular junction in Ibadan, harboring travellers to, and from Osun/Ife, Lagos, Ogun, etc. It is equally a major business district mixed with residential apartments for Ibadan dwellers. The bus stops and parks around there are countless. You can imagine the traffic too. Believe me, as a visitor to Ibadan or someone trying to get to a location in time, you do not ever want to be stuck at Iwo road. It is worse in the weekend. In six hours and still counting, you could be stuck.
The usual Ibadan traffic congestions have been due to some trailers breaking down somewhere. Nowadays, traffic practically locks down minor roads. It is a bigger regret if you had attempted to escape the major road traffic, only to be stuck in the middle of nowhere on minor roads.
The growing traffic in Ibadan cannot be disconnected from the recent influx of people to the ancient city. This influx is not far-fetched, resulting from the congestion in Lagos. The relatively low cost of living and the possibility of enhanced standard of living within the developing environment are attracting factors. In fact, quite a number of Lagos workers live in Ibadan. It is a city where the poor and rich share demography and geography.
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