The best word I can use to describe my life in Ibadan is ‘safe’. My movement was just school and home and not much else. It is interesting that with all the years I spent in Ibadan, all I know of Ibadan is from Ojoo to Bodija/Mokola to Challenge, anywhere else is strange to me. School was International School, Ibadan and then UI; home was Alalubosa. Anywhere not close to these places held nothing for me.
Life in Ibadan was comforting, all my people were around me. I did not have to look too far to find my people. Friends and family were basically a stone throw away. Life was pretty peaceful in Ibadan though, it was extra peaceful in my estate, Alalubosa GRA. I miss that sometimes.
I left Ibadan after graduating from UI to serve in Abuja. That was 2012. But long before I was posted out for my NYSC, I had been praying to God about everything concerning that year even though I didn’t know what laid ahead of me. God answered my prayers, He prepared things ahead of my arrival. I think the challenge most people face is the accommodation thing; rent is EXPENSIVE in Abuja. I was blessed – I had it good.
Upon getting to Abuja, I stayed with a friend from ISI, her family lived in Maitama. After a few months with them, I got accommodation in the barracks as I was posted to serve with the Army. So accommodation was never really my challenge when I got to Abuja. Food and transport are really cheap in Abuja so I had no issues there either. Perhaps the big challenge I would have had in Abuja was finding my way around because directions are not exactly my forte. Abuja is a well planned city, I found it is easy to find your way around.
It was easy for me to make friends in Abuja since I had some friends from ISI and UI there. Gradually, my circle began to widen and now I have like the most amazing set of friends. So having social interactions was not a challenge for me either. After my service year, I stayed back in Abuja and I have been here since then; so that would make it 6 years that I have been away from home.
Six years is a long time, you know.
I have lived in different cities and none beats the ease of moving around in Abuja.
If you live and work within the metropolis, you can wake up at 8.30am and get to work by 9am. All you would need to do is get out of your house by 8.45am, get a cab for N200-N500 depending on the distance and you would be at work by 9am. That is one experience I have not been able to replicate anywhere else in Nigeria.
Living in Abuja has made me see that life can be easy and exciting at the same time, the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. In Lagos, life is exciting but it is not easy. In Ibadan, life is easy but it is not the most exciting, especially if you are not a student living on the campus. Abuja for me, brings the two together seamlessly. Any other way of living cannot do it for me now, it has to be better than what I get in Abuja for me to accept it.”