Welcome to ericotrips where we discuss travel experiences and exquisite tours.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you how I visited 4 south-western states in Nigeria.
It is almost impossible to define the term “visit” in one sentence. Depending on varying situations, it could be touchdown in a geographical location, a lengthy stay or even for some via the internet.
A couple of weeks ago during another voyage from Lagos to Osun, I got to view different places in snapshots. I think the trip was on a Thursday, the bus driver, Kareem made a wrong turn and we were immediately stopped by “agberos”, you can call them touts.
Their hard faces glared at us as we waited patiently for the next move, one of them got a wooden club studded with nails in an attempt to deflate the vehicle’s tires.
Pandemonium engulfed the warm air. In some minutes, passengers started asking questions; are they robbers? Kidnappers? Just what are they?!
One of the men spoke with a voice that hit like a thunderous bolt, “where are you headed?” Kareem replied, “Osun my oga”
The touts were NURTW staff demanding incentives from commercial bus drivers and after further harassment Kareem mentioned the name of his boss, we were allowed to proceed with the journey, that name was respected even in those parts.
National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) is an independent Nigerian Trade Union that serves interests of transport workers in the road transport sector. Their core function is to protect rights of workers and it is led by Alhaji Najeem Yasin. Unfortunately, the union has been known for controversial practices including extortion, corruption and nepotism.
Earlier that day, I arrived at a bus park located in Ikorodu. The fare was 1,800 Naira and I sat on the front passenger’s seat, my favourite spot. The destination Osogbo, a city located about 225km NE of Lagos.
In Nigeria, commercial buses are the preferred choice for interstate travels. Asides been way cheaper than other alternatives, road transport gives you the opportunity to “experience” society and culture in their purest forms.
Commercial buses can be a bundle of turmoil, the drivers have arrogant disregard for life and limb, they are overspeeding menaces that squash passengers like sardines.
The approximately 3-hour trip commenced quite early, no one realised how faulty the vehicle was. Simply put, it was an “overheated situation”, that day we made more than 5 stops.
Through this journey, I learnt that Nigerians can be patient whenever they want to be. The first stop was in Ogun state shortly after a police checkpoint and passengers were cooperative.
I made a wild guess, maybe they weren’t typical Lagosians, they were probably in Lasgidi for business.
Ogun state is famous for Adire fabric, it is home to tourist attractions such as Olumo Rock. The state has the highest number of factories in Nigeria and is home to many universities.
Next Stop [OYO]
Ibadan is the capital of Oyo state and is reportedly the largest city by land mass in Nigeria. We stopped again close to a mosque, from the elevation I saw many brown roofs and Nissan Micras’.
The Micras’ are commonly used in kidnapping operations, there’s no way to validate this, stay safe.
Don’t compete with Micras’ in Ibadan, Danfo might be scared of law enforcers but Micras aren’t bothered by any!
Surprisingly, Ibadan is also the 3rd cheapest city to live in Nigeria. It encompasses natural beauty, history and culture, there are numerous interesting sites to visit such as Agodi Park, Cocoa House, National Museum of Unity, IITA Forest and University of Ibadan zoo.
While Kareem cooled the radiator with water, I had fried fish and we were later surrounded by butter bread (agege) traders close to Iwo Road, they flanked our vehicle as few passengers made purchases.
Osun state is very rich in arts and history, traditional art at Nike Art Gallery owned by Chief Nike (one of Nigeria’s renowned female designers and artist) and the amazing seven level Olumirin Waterfalls at Erin-Ijesha make it a tourist destination, a visit to Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba culture also promises to be memorable.
I got to experience Osun from an Ikire point-of-view (where the bus quit), cheerful chants of hucksters engulfed the atmosphere as they sung from road side, “dodo ikire, buy dodo ikire”
I discovered a technique hucksters employ to capture most buyers, they wait ahead of speed bumps or large potholes, this tactic works perfectly by ensuring fewer pursuits.
When we arrived Ikire in Osun state, the radiator stopped retaining water.
A run to a nearby filling station for water bags didn’t help, this was the final blow.
Kareem made attempts to stop other vehicles, a lot of them were either occupied or going in different directions. Some moments later, he succeeded, it was a transition from a “quite comfortable” Mazda to a rickety “old school” Toyota Hiace.
I sat beside a lady obsessing over her makeup, she kept applying a brush on her face. By my standards, she was perfect, the excess makeup only ruined her beauty.
Anyways, rickety bus made the journey to Osogbo and the driver, an elderly man enjoyed every bit of it, switching gears while singing like a jolly grandpa.
To avoid travel mishaps, utilise Private Transport companies such as God is Good Motors, Cross Country Transport Limited or Guo Transport for road trips.
Let me know what you think of my writeup and if you’ve got any similar experiences share in the comments below.
Have a great week!