Monday, June 27, 2011

An Accident in the Waiting

A few days to the General Elections held in April 2011, a miracle happened all over Nigeria: there was remarkable increase in electricity supply everywhere including the villages. Many streets were hurriedly lit and there were lights in Ibadan on roads that end in the bush. Many roads were hurriedly patched. Garbage heaps were cleared regularly in Ibadan for almost one whole week. Elections have gone and life is back to (ab)normal. Darkness has returned to most parts, and many can’t find kerosene to buy. Was any voter by government’s hurried ‘window dressing’? I doubt it. Meanwhile, I spotted this electric pole a few kilometres outside Ibadan yesterday.This is a sure sign that the elections are over. This pole will have to wait till 2015 when another round of elections will hopefully hold. Or—it will get government attention if (I pray not) it electrocutes a few influential people. It's an accident in the waiting! But who cares?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Beer's Tower at Ibadan

If you went to Ibadan, you would know that the City of Brown Roofs is distinguished in many ways: the city spreads on and on and on with neither end nor pattern; the roofs are indeed red-brown with sparkles of other colours here and there. Also, you would notice that there is refuse everywhere you turn--as much refuse as you want. Pace-setter town, Ibadan houses the first Nigerian university, the first TV station in sub-Saharan Africa, a national museum, the national archives and many more.

But few tourists visit these landmark places. Why? Ibadan does not need a tourist centre because the entire town is one big tourist fascination. Many people visit Bower's Tower in Ibadan, a colonial legacy that allows you to see a huge part of Ibadan and then conclude that you haven't seen a quarter of it. My friend and I visited Bower's Tower recently and were unhappy with the sight (especially the stench and the refuse on the way to the Tower). Bent on impressing my friend, I took him to another Tower which I call Beer's Tower--salute to Nigerians' creativity!

How on earth do they get to the top of this?