Trip to Ife
For my readers who live abroad I’m talking about my country Nigeria. Ife is a town in Osun State and it’s the ancestral home of the Yoruba people whose dominance spreads from Ife here to Western Nigeria to Togo to Benin to Jamaica and the Caribbean islands. For more information on a trip to Africa visit your Africa Travelogue for the necessary information.
A bus direct to Ife from Ojodu-Berger should cost nothing less than a thousand five hundred naira. Prices may vary. The travel cuts across three states, first will be Lagos that you are departing, then entering into Ogun state, then through Ibadan till you get to Osun where you will journey for a short while before getting to Ife.
The journey lasts the period of two and half hours that is if there are no traffic jams on the road. The route the car will take you through is the Lagos Ibadan express way then when you get to Ibadan they will take the Ibadan-Ife road.
On that same road is the Obafemi Awolowo University. It is the single stand out structure on the road where thousands of undergraduates and post-graduates come to acquire knowledge. The motto of the university is ‘for learning and culture’ which is quite intriguing and true considering the well-organized administration of the university and the high required cut-off marks for each subjects.
I came here by peradventure of the luck of writing the post UTME examination for admission into the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo. I stayed in the town for the duration of two days, arrived Friday afternoon and left first thing in the morning.
My advice for folks who want to visit Ife and need a place to stay for the duration, they should take a bus to Mayfair in Ife and they will see enough quality and cheap hotel in that area. Of course bus fee cost just N40. The range of hotels includes Mayfair hotel, Xela hotel, Hilton hotel and a lot more.
Ife is a quiet city and traffic flowing unlike the jammed up roads and houses of Lagos, in Ife everywhere is free and flowing, the population is not that dense and you can still see people living in ancient houses but on the bright side it is more quiet, convenient and it will save you the unnecessary Lagos rush and save your blood pressure. If you are looking for a quiet city to enjoy your retirement, why not try Ife? You won’t be disappointed at all.
Also there food stuffs are relatively cheap considering the fact that most of their goods are transported for us here in Lagos to buy at higher prices by the hoarding marketers. Banana that you will buy in Lag for N100 you will get it for just N50.
For akara lovers and lovers of moi-moi, the Lagos variety is tasteless and impure for the superior Ife made impoverished beans. Also, not forgetting the numerous farm lands there making vegetable so cheap you would consider coming here from lag to buy freshly cut vegetables.
Another thing about Ife is there shops don’t open quiet early as they are not really in a hurry to make money. The place is also friendly for visitors as the huge statue of the Ife bronze head at the road about welcomes you to Ife. The people are more friendly to visitors than in Lagos were you are really on your own, here they try to make you feel welcome and give you advances on your trip.
There buses are cheap considering the distance; they cost about N40 per bus stop almost the same as their okada riders. Also interestingly most of their drivers don’t have bus conductors as you see in almost every bus in Lagos and I actually got down without paying the fare. No harm intended, I actually forgot.
Also in Ife is the Oduduwa University which many of you would have never heard about. Also brace yourself for the occasional poor network in parts of Ife as telecommunication providers have not really made their strong presence felt there. This is annoying considering Ife is a popular town. This is an open challenge to the telecommunication providers’ management to come and do something quickly about this situation.
The road of Ife will need some upgrading, though the town is rarely flooded the roads needs to be graded and few bumps here and here and in no time you will have a pot-hole the size of a pot which will cost significantly much than it will at this present stage.
I call on the governor of Osun state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to look for solution to the unpaid worker’s owed salaries and cut-down his expensive government and welfare packages and provide basic amenities like good roads which is the right of every citizen in the state.
Small impacts like this and you are made a folk figure not your expensive welfare packages which has now backfired and exposed you to insults and loss of face which you didn’t anticipate will come. The difference here is that both are costly but in the long run you don’t have to keep paying for workers welfare as a good road and clean drainage system will last thirty years without a major repair.
Back to Ife, I won’t complete my travelogue without running into the reason why I actually came to Ife, on this note I will talk about the University of Ile-Ife. The university motto is ‘for learning and culture’ and it looks everything like the name. From the gate, which actually looks like a toll gate the rods are well graded and neatly divided with beautiful horticulture dominating the landscape.
You need a bus to take you into the campus as for close to twenty minutes all you will be driving on is on the beautiful long road without seeing any structure till you get to campus bus-stop which gives you an idea of exactly how large the university really is. I’ve been to the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB) before and I was impressed, Obafemi Awolowo University wowed me to speechlessness.
One thing you must notice is all the roads are good and looks like they have just been graded not long ago, zebra crosses are predominance on major roads which gives you an overseas feeling. You also can not miss the surplus sculptures that are littered orderly around the university. The university is really a hive ‘for learning and culture’.
The university has its own sport complex, a stadium which can host about 15 thousand people; the university is really a hive for learning of all sorts. I never got to the end of the university as the more I walked round, the more the university seems to be getter bigger and bigger and bigger.
I must commend the university management for the successful organizing of the post-utme screening exercise. We all had information about our Exam Centre and room and seat number which was given at registration for the post-UTME. This made seating for the examination easier than the orthodox way of making students line them then start putting them into sits in an unorganized manner.
We started at 12p.m, it was to last for an hour fifteen minutes and they were through to timing, a good point for the administration. One thing that impressed me is the fact that the question papers and the OMR sheet where customized with our names, UTME number and seat number, so all we needed to do was to start shading our answers. Kudos, to the OAU management, they have really convinced me of the orderliness and sincerity.
Also, another thing was our results were released exactly 24 hours after we finished the exam and this made the University administration look clean and sincere in their admission processes.
You can decide to go back to Lagos using a cab that will cost you two thousand naira only, it sounds expensive but considering they only carry four passengers, three at the back, one at the front, it may be a price well paid for your convenience or you can take a cab to Ibadan costing six hundred naira only then you get to Ibadan and take a N500 bus to Lagos.
Enjoy your stay in Ife, the ancestral home of the Yoruba’s. Please be sure to visit these places, the Ife museum where crafts and crafts of bronze works dating back to , also visit the Ooni palace the home of the Ooni of Ife, considering the fact they are near each other , also visit the Agbonniregun Temple in Oke-Itase Street, also see the famous Oranmiyan Staff you read only in books and folklore at the Mopa Area, Aarubidi, also see the Zoological Garden and the Natural History Museum Obafemi Awolowo University Campus, the Oluorogbo Temple Ilode Street, the Igbo-Olokun Shrine, Ilode Street, Oduduwa Shrine and Grove, Ido Area, Oduduwa Street, Baba Sigidi Burst Baba Sigidi Compound, Iremo and Igi-Nla (Mysterious Tree) Oke-Oora, Mokuro, Ile-Ife.
Your tour is just about to begin.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity.