I am not much of a traveler but I have been to the following states in Nigeria; Ogun (obviously), Oyo (thanks O’Larry for that first time), Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta (only Stan the Man could have made me do it and it was fun) and Abuja (time spent here is never enough). 10 in all, not bad for a non traveler I guess.
The loss to Manchester City in the Manchester Derby the previous night was so painful, this trip was the perfect getaway from being verbally abused to my face. Strangely nobody had my time, Manchester United must have been crap for no banter to come my way. I got to the airport 6.10 a.m for a supposed flight of 7:15 a.m. A 45 minute delay was announced at the strike of take off time. Then came a chic dressed in an over-sized gown, she was very small all over with her bra showing. I was wondering what she held a jacket for if she wasn’t going to wear it to cover up. Then my friend whom I was chatting with at the time makes a case for her, maybe she rushed out of the house or had a horrible night. I agreed, not one to argue and is it my business anyway? I just needed to get out of here. Oh by the way I was heading to Kwara State, Ilorin precisely. Then few minutes to the second take off time it was announced that there would be another 30 minutes delay. Bad weather was the cause of delay according to the announcer or is it conductor they call them? Over 30 minutes after and no announcement followed. This is NIGERIA!!!
The wait continued and still no announcement on take off. My phone kept me busy while occasionally reading a very interesting book written by the King of Talk; Teju ‘Babyface’ Oyelakin titled Forget Principles, Find a Mentor. To make matters worse and I see this as cockiness of the highest order and very disrespectful. A man walked up to where I was seated and sat directly in front of me , no that was not what annoyed me. He was sporting a Man City jersey and no one can tell me it was anything but intentional because he obviously saw me in my Manchester United kit. Manchester City will pay for this, rubbish. I was really angry but the funny thing is that’s how I will be angry and it is only me that will know, lol.
We finally boarded the plane at about 10:02 a.m and took off finally at 10:30 a.m. I continued with the book as I couldn’t chat with anyone again at this juncture. Read for about 15 minutes then slept for 10 minutes waking up at the sound of the sweet air hostess’s voice asking if I wanted anything. Had a cup of coffee and donuts then picked up the book again. We landed at about 11:15 a.m and chauffeured almost immediately to where I would be spending the next couple of days. BLISS.
After greeting my host and talking for a bit, I had breakfast which was spaghetti and chicken, oh my there’s something about grilled chicken but I am still a turkey man everyday and 3 times on Sundays. I rested for a bit before taking a short trip around the city of Ilorin. Got back in, rested, read for a bit and gisted with my host. I wanted to go out again but the body was not willing so I stayed indoors till dinner. It was amala with okro and plenty meat, very delicious very sumptuous. If I had plans to go out, the amala cancelled it. I was so full and heavy that I just went to lay on the bed. Oh yeah I also got a video call from my darling niece who was really upset that I left town without telling her. I hope I did a good job of apologizing to her though. I didn’t know when sleep got the best of me and to be honest it’s the best I have slept this year. All of you that say you find it hard to sleep in a new environment blah blah blah, shame on you.
Day 2: The day of the tour of the Town
I finished the book I was reading, had breakfast of yam and a delicious sauce to go with, had a bath then set out. After seeing a colleague for a bit the next stop was the University of Ilorin, the noise about the school was just too much you would think it was in the class of Imperial College, UK. Yes it was big and all but a waste of space. The distance from the gate to campus was close to a marathon stretch, not a school I would have loved to be in if trouble broke. I visited the zoo too and compared to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife Osun State, it was a drab.
Nothing can be taken away from the University of Ilorin Dam. It was beautiful, very beautiful from a distance though.
A trip to the Kwara Poly was next on the list and it felt like the place was being neglected when compared to UniIlorin though they had more security than the latter.
The tour was completed with stops at the Kwara National Assembly, Emir’s Palace, Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), Government House, Presidential Lodge, Shoprite and the Deputy Governor’s office (yes I was surprised to hear the Deputy Governor’s was separate from where the Governor’s office was situated). I missed out on visiting a place which a friend recommended to me; Ultra Sound Bar. I was too tired. I got back to my lodgement at about 6 p.m fagged out. I had my dinner of eba and okro.
After dinner I picked up a new book to read; Baron of Broad Street by El Nukoya while catching up with my peeps, I did not know when I slept off but I am sure it was pretty late.
Day 3: The day of the Exit
After breakfast, I decided not to go out. I picked up from where I left off with the book then napped for a bit before getting set for my trip back to Lagos. I got a text from the airline saying my flight had been pushed from 6 p.m to 6.40 pm, no shaking. Got to the airport at about 6 p.m and waited as usual past the stated 6.40 p.m. Finally we boarded at about 7:20 p.m and left Ilorin at 7.31 p.m.
It was the scariest flight I had ever been on, the plane was making some funny sounds and all I could do was pray we got to our destination safe. I was so scared from the sound I picked the book up and for the life of me I don’t think I have ever flipped past that much pages within a short period as I did that night.
Touchdown and I hurried off the plane like there were snakes on it. The ride home was not so long as anticipated thanks to the cab guy who took an alternative route because traffic leaving Ikeja was horrible.
It felt good to be back in LAGOS.
My experience in Ilorin in one word? Good. Kwara is now off the bucket list. So I have been to 11 states in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory.
Thanks for your time guys. Have a fabulous week ahead. BLESS!!!