Going to the Olumo city was an experience never to forget in a hurry. We went in search of news and in quest for history. We encountered knowledge and experience. As one of the contenders for headline in our periodic departmental newspaper, a trip to Abeokuta to interview Oba Olufemi Adewunmi Ogunleye and with the deadline for the production just around the corner. We made a trip down to Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State
Six people made the journey, including four editorial board members, our Lecturer and the driver. Before we left for our trip, I had many naïve preconceptions of Abeokuta. I imagined Ogun State mainly as a rural state with sporadic industrialized places. It has many features that make Ogun state a state with rich monuments; as a result, you literally cannot make a single step without running into the next attraction.
The plan was to leave Ilorin as early as possible and get to Abeokuta around 12pm order to have ample time for the interview but we ended up leaving around 10am due to some unforeseen circumstances.
Being a working day, we travelled around 100 to 120km/h, the traffic was minimal from Ilorin to Ogbomosho. We had just got to Ogbomosho at around 11am, Odo-ona to be precise where we met with traffic that stretched down to Oyo town as a result of the bad road which led to a trailer accident. We were held in the traffic for about an hour although there were still some parts on the side of the road where small cars can pass.
We arrived at Oyo at around some minutes to one, at first we missed the way that’ll link us to the Oyo – Ibadan express way which is a 58.3km journey but we later got it. On getting to Ibadan, we stopped for a drink and roasted plantain (boli), we were back on the road, aiming to get to Abeokuta by 2:30pm. The traffic was sparse and thankfully, the road to Abeokuta didn’t pose to be a big problem for us although there lots of potholes as a result of the re-construction of the road. It was sunny and just when we took the Shagamu road towards Abeokuta, we saw the newly constructed President Muhammadu Buhari estate which is just an expanse of land proposed by the Sen. Ibikunle Amosun led government for building an estate for the populace which is located at the Oke Mosan area of Ogun and is just some metres before the MKO Abiola Trade Fair Centre.
With a grin on our faces, we drove ahead and soon left the less expressway. Along the road that leads to the Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC) building is the Ogun State Government House and then we head down towards the Ogun State Government Sport Club.
However, Oke-Imole is where we faced our major problem. We went round the OPIC building thrice because we didn’t get the direction given to us by a shop owner. We then head to the Ogun State Sports Club where we met the King for the interview. The interview took us over 2 hours.
We left Abeokuta pretty late at around quarter to six, we got to Ibadan around 7pm due a little traffic and a stop on the way. At Ibadan we stopped over for a drink and Gala then we were back on the road. As a result of the bad road we got to Oyo at around 8pm and had another stop for Suya then we head back to the road.
The journey down to Ogbomosho was smooth and traffic was sparse until we got the same spot we were held up in traffic. Unfortunately by this time, there as total gridlock. We tried to maneuver through the bush but it was also blocked by the Tankers who were mostly Hausas. Fortunately after almost 2 hours in the gridlock we managed to persuade them to allow us pass through but it attracted 100 fee.
We arrived Ogbomosho around 11pm, the drive back from here till Ilorin was uneventful but we weren’t complaining as the memories from that day were etched in our hearts forever. We had experienced not the best but an interesting journey and with a lot gained from King Olufemi Ogunleye and also for what lies ahead in the field of journalism.