The Oasis Reporters
August 12, 2019
People that knew Ibadan, capital city of Oyo State in South West Nigeria only during the former government of Abiola Isiaka Ajimobi would certainly get confused over the rhythm and buoyancy it wears now, days before, and during the Muslim Eid festival of sacrifice and supplications to the Almighty.
Shoppers had earlier clogged the roads leading to markets and vehicular movements were at bumper to bumper slow rides, days before the festival, today.
There’s a reason why.
Coming from the days when salaries were owed workers endlessly for months on end and the state economy was comatose, the new sheriff in town, Governor Seyi Makinde has prioritized workers welfare, clearing the backload of salaries and tackling the backlog inherited from the previous administration. Like a yoghurt starter, the new governor, coming from start-up business that competes internationally, has through his ways, stimulated the economy with timely salary payments, so confidence is back which has shown all over.
As early as 6.30 am , Friday morning, The Oasis Reporters correspondents in Warri, Delta State and Port Harcourt in oil rich Rivers State, there were virtually no vehicles going to Ibadan for Yoruba families wishing to celebrate the Ileya festival in Ibadan. Many late travellers had to abandon Uvwie motor park to a private terminus belonging to Eagle Line to have a chance to travel.
As soon as vehicles get to Wema Park in Ibadan, they’d be booked immediately to take travellers going to Ilorin and other destinations in the Muslim dominated north, compounding the woes of return to take more passengers to Ibadan. Consequently, fares have gone up. A trip from Lagos to Ibadan that ordinarily would cost less than one thousand naira,became 4,000 naira, yet the vehicles were hard to find.
Condiments like tomatoes, peppers, onions that usually sell cheaply at Shasha Hausa Fulani quarters on the outskirts of town, doubled in price. A basket of tomatoes rose to 18,000. naira, up from 12,000 naira.
Traffic gridlock still remains a part of Ibadan life that suffers from several Infrastructural deficits, especially in the area of road construction, which former governor Ajimobi tried to address, but he lacked the resources and the ability to make money. Federal allocation alone could not help him, but Makinde has a bigger dream, and broader vision, going by events since he assumed office as governor.