I recently had reasons to move across Abeokuta running few personal errands and as fate would have it, a close friend of mine was in need of the dailies, that day’s edition, so i decided to help her get a copy along the way.
“It’s just a newspaper, i should be able to get it anywhere”, i had thought to myself, but i was wrong, the situation of fuel scarcity coupled with the scorching sun only made the day seem like an horror scene on a fun day… Who doesn’t like the hot sun beaming wonderful hot rays on their head, everybody loves to pay extra for cab fare since there’s fuel scarcity…
I’m not here to rant about my horrible day but about an observation… I couldn’t find a newspaper stand in Abeokuta from my campus to the commercial Centre of the city, a newspaper stand was more or less extinct… But in my short ride across town i was able to understand something.
In Abeokuta the people rely more on radio than they do printed materials, so in the cab i heard the news, listened to some of the latest tunes, even had the privilege to hear the call for prayer for the muslim folks, it was much better than reading but i still longed for the physical paper, the smell of the news, It’s so distinct and i can refer to it whenever.
After a while listening to the radio, I’ll keep an eye out again in search of a newspaper stand… But still couldn’t spot one, instead i saw agricultural stores, from a vet clinic to a poultry supplies store, every potential newspaper stand spot was occupied by agricultural linkages.
This is my own picture of growth, if only more structures could be erected, a farmers market, a feed mill, a slaughter house, a silo, a service center for farm machineries, a training center for potential farmers, agricultural banks, etc. The list is endless.
Abeokuta can compete with Lagos if it can specialize on agriculture, create a niche for herself and watch the world crawl at her feet in demand for her fruits. There’s hope for Abeokuta and the only way the rock city can stand with other cities is it’s ability to utilize agriculture in every form, and turn this city to a green land, a farm.
So i don’t mind if i can’t find a single newspaper stand, as long as i can find a fertilizer store and the radio house is still operational… I think I’m satisfied.