Iwo Road — Ibadan's legendary traffic monster Special
Several years ago in the my teens, while on a long road trip with my Dad, we decided to have a quiz competition to relieve the boredom of the monotonous stretch of road to Nigeria's steel plant at Ajaokuta.
One of the first questions my Dad asked was: "Which is the busiest road in Ibadan?"
I answered immediately, "Dugbe road." Dugbe is the city's commercial center, so I reasoned it should be the busiest.
But my Dad disagreed and kept me guessing for a while before he announced authoritatively, "Iwo Road."
I was skeptical of his opinion but I kept my doubts to myself. Sometime later, I asked a friend and he answered without hesitation "Iwo road."
I kept my peace, but years later, while I served a year in the compulsory National Youth Service Corp scheme (NYSC) after I left university, I worked for private company with its head office at Iwo Road, and I had firsthand experience of a stretch of road that by any international standard, is a traffic monster.
As far as traffic is concerned, the river simply never runs dry for Iwo Road. Cars streamed past the office building bumper-to-bumper all day. In puzzlement I asked an office colleague, naively: "Where are all these cars coming from and where are they going?"
She explained that Iwo Road is the major route into Ibadan, Oyo state's capital city, from the major cities in the state and also from Lagos state.
Iwo Road on weekends is the ultimate traffic nightmare.
Such was the notoriety the road acquired that drivers soon began researching alternative routes into the city, but soon the state government came to the aid of drivers by building roads providing alternative routes to the heart of the city. Nowadays, Iwo Road sees less traffic than it did in the past, yet the volume of traffic on the road is still remarkable.
Digital Journal reporter
visited Iwo Road recently and brings readers images of traffic that made Iwo road a legend in Southwest Nigeria.