5 things I Learnt About Abeokuta: You Won’t Believe the 5th
So I spent 3 nights in Ogun state and dwelt majorly in Abeokuta. Here are the 5 things I observed about this city.
You needn’t agree with this compilation but I have to let it out irrespective. If people till date still have reservations for the holy books, what exception does my list now require?
Quickly let’s run through them:
- It’s the most developed part of Ogun
This is in terms of infrastructures like hospitals, schools (Ogun state has the highest number of tertiary institutions in Nigeria), roads and financial institutions.
The reason behind this isn’t farfetched; Abeokuta is the capital of the gateway state. While I toured the metropolis, I observed about a dozen skyscrapers like the ones in Lagos Island while close to another dozen were under construction. And with the rate Abeokuta is going, I really do not think they’d back down anytime soon because of all sports, wrestling seems to be the one they detest the most.
- They are determined
Before traveling to Ogun state, I had a preconceived notion that only very few state capitals excluding of course Abeokuta can rub shoulders with Lagos in terms of determination to develop and progress. This notion however changed on my way to the historic centenary hall, when I had to give a special attention to the inscription on major infrastructures (especially roads and bridges) within the state. I noticed this words which blew my mind:
“Mission to rebuild Ogun state 2014.”
It’s a mission statement I think the state is working assiduously at achieving because I found it on almost all infrastructures in Abeokuta.
With the way things are going, ABK will in no time join greats like Ikeja, Calabar, port-harcourt and the rest.
- Like LASTMA like TRACE
Though I felt there wasn’t any need for them since we really do not have as much crazy drivers in ABK like we do in Lagos.
The Ogun state traffic compliance and enforcement agency- Trace as they are popularly called. They use a butter coloured shirt on a green pant.
Smart is the way they operate but one deficiency attached to trace (according to one of the cab drivers I spoke with) is that some of their officials collect bribe just like their friends (LASTMA) in Lagos. *winks
- Lafun is the traditional food
For the Ijebus, it is ifokore (water-yam porridge) and garri ijebju; but in Abeokuta, lafun is the in-thing.
Lafun is a fibrous powdery form of cassava similar to fufu in Nigeria. The method of production of lafun is different from that of fufu. In the traditional preparation, fresh cassava roots are cut into chunks and steeped for 3-4 days or until the roots become soft.
The fermented roots are peeled, broken up into small pieces, and sun dried on mats, flat rocks, cement floors, or the roofs of houses.
The dried pieces are milled into flour. Alternatively, chips are made directly from fresh roots, cut into chunks, and sun dried. Drying takes 2-4 days, depending on the weather.
Unlike fufu, the fibers in the retted root for lafun are dried along with the mash and later sieved out. Thus, lafun is coarser than fufu in texture. The flour is made into dough with boiling water before consumption.
When properly stored, it has a shelf-life of six months or more.
- Abeokuta wakes up late
Here was what happened. I had planned to leave Abeokuta as early as 4am so I can connect to Lagos as early as possible, relax a bit before going to school to meet with my classmates for a class picnic scheduled to be staged in G12 bar Oniru. Yeah! I love flexing. But I got the shock of my life when I got prepared by 4:30am, woke Dare up and told him I was ready. He smiled and told me we won’t get any cab by that time. His reason? Ogun state was still asleep. I initially thought he was discouraging me because he needed more sleep or probably because he doesn’t want me to leave that early for security reasons. So I insisted that we set out.
To my dismay, we got to Onikolobo and everything was grave quiet. Even the crickets in Ogun state weren’t as vibrant as the ones known to me. Their voice was drowsy. It was obvious they too weren’t fully awake.
I was a bit disappointed because we both had to walk for like another 30 minutes after standing at Onikolobo for several minutes to get a bus destined for Lagos.