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Ibadan is a great city, a city with an intriguing history. It is a city of ancient warlords.

Like most African cities, she has her own series of myths and legends, many of which have become popular overtime. The people of Ibadan like other Yoruba tribes are quite hospitable. Ibadan is blessed with vast land mass and well populated with numerous illustrious idigenes and enterprising sojourners. But there are certain clichés about the core indigenes of Ibadan, for instance, it is believed that the Ibadan men are mostly taxi-drivers, butchers and ceremonial drummers; who hardly get educated or become rich. Nothing can be further from the truth, and I am talking about what I have seen. I have lived in this great city for a decade now so I know so.

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Of course there are many indigenous taxi drivers, butchers and so on in Ibadan, but that is characteristic of most cities of the world. And on the contrary, there are many rich, educated and influential Ibadan indigenes. I won’t name names because that would make you feel like reading the biblical genealogies, some you’d know, others you won’t. The recently concluded gubernatorial primaries by various political parties in Oyo state rekindled the fire of the question that had always burned in my heart and that is “why is it hard for these so called rich men to in vest in Ibadan Land?” They will surface when it’s election time promise heaven and earth and win or loose, they will disappear into thin air again until it’s another four years and election is around the corner again. This is disheartening!

Ibadan is a city blessed with an awesome land mass, once the largest in the country way back 1960 and was the second largest in Africa second only to the ancient Egyptian city of Cairo. This is enough to entice prosperous business investors from all around the globe if the idegenes will dare to show the first seeds. The geographical location is also favourable for business, just 130.9 km away from Lagos (the latter being a city that has arguably some of the busiest sea and airports in the continent) Ibadan is a good place to invest for serious minded business investors both foreign and indigenous; but first you must proof that the light that lights your path must not necessarily come from without.

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Lagos and Kano are two cities more populated than Ibadan and these cities have respectable standings in the nation given their immense contribution to the nation’s economy, with whooping IGRs. Ibadan is blessed with a good population estimated to be around 3.5 million people, a staggering number of consumers to satisfy even in a competitive business environment, not to imagine the workforce this number promises to offer if there’s enough jobs for these eager hands. Lands in Ibadan sells or can be leased at prices that are still business friendly, especially in her metropolis.

Yet with all these aforementioned advantages it is obvious Ibadan can’t boast of as much industries and needs indigenous investors to invest or champion the course of bringing landmark investments into Ibadan, instead of keeping their wealth in the diaspora only to remember that they are sons and daughters of the soil when it’s election time. And don’t tell me they plan to effect a change from the so much coveted sit of power, because if you do, I’ll tell you look around and tell me if it has worked since 1969, I will remind you if you have forgotten that there’s been only little difference since that thorough Premier (Chief Obafemi Awolowo) left office. And if you check your facts very well, you’d see  

that this city is no longer the largest in the nation, Gusau is now considered to be much larger. Lack of expansion isn’t exactly my definition of growth.

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Nnewi is neither as big nor as populous as Ibadan, (it’s even the second largest in Anambra and not even the capita if the state) but it is a commercial as well as an industrial city. Though this city only has two Local Governments, yet she is proudly the home of a car manufacturing plant, and the first in the nation (Innoson Motors), thanks to Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma [OFR] a native of Nnewi who gave back to the source.

If the illustrious sons and daughters of Ibadan can commit themselves big time investment wise in this historic city of Ibadan the internal economy if the city will become an envy of neighbouring cities, the state IGR will stop crawling and stand as it rightly should, putting the city and the state back in their respected position as it has been through this dynamic nation’s history.

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Although my observation about Ibadan has been my muse for writing this piece, I can’t help mentioning that this is a trend all across Yoruba lands affecting towns and cities in various degrees. It has to stop!

We must look away from the government for help and look inward, come together as community of people that we are, harness our collective power to create a better life for ourselves and our posterity. Nothing is too small, nothing is too little, every idea is worth giving a trial. And if/when you are blessed, give back to your sources, that’s one of the major ways we can build this nation up to her due stance of glory.



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