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KORONU: Inside Ibadan Community Where People Don’t Think, Jobless Youths Smoke For Inspiration

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Ibadan-based investigative journalist and political scientist, Edmund Obilo, visited Koronu area of Academy, Ibadan to document the plight of a generation seeking for comfort by settling down in Koronu – a place where people don’t think.

In this report, OYOINSIGHT.COM’s Adebayo Abdulrahman retells the story of youths who seek inspiration yet suffer from the desperation to survive.

WELCOME TO KORONU



On the streets of this axis, young people struggle to make sense of their place in a country troubled by unemployment and poverty. They smoke marijuana to gain inspiration.

Even though ‘Koronu’ presents these youths the opportunity to spend their time, it also shows how the environment can be engaged to save the youths from themselves.

There are unemployment, poverty, and drugs in Koronu.

THE ‘ALHAJA’ THAT SMOKES


“When I am jobless and broke, at least I must take something, so I am here to smoke, I learned the art of hairdressing yet I am jobless”. These were the words of a young woman called ‘Alhaja’ who spoke with Twinkles crew led by Edmund Obilo in the video. She stated that her presence at Koronu is strictly because of the need to take ‘something’ despite her being jobless.

“WE WANT TO WORK BUT NO JOB”

In his words, another man based in Koronu explained that they are jobless not because they don’t want to work but because there is no job. According to him, “We want to work but no job, our condition is bad. The government should help us because we don’t have food to eat. At least you can see our condition, are you satisfied with it?”

THE FOOD SELLER WHO SAVES LIVES

Struggling under the influence of unemployment and poverty, people in this axis can’t afford to feed their mouths or fill their belly regularly but like a messiah, there is a food-seller who saves lives.

Her moin-moin made from beans save the boys from hunger when they can’t pay for it. When questioned by Obilo, she said, “They eat my food yet they can’t pay for it. I am a widow and I feel the pains of the boys because I know that at least they must eat”

One of the boys who confirmed this said, “This woman is a good woman. She feeds us when we have nothing and her moin-moin sustains us”.

 

I SMOKE FOR INSPIRATION

Another young man who claims to be a graduate of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro stated that smoking gives him inspiration to think further. He added that he is jobless so he has no choice but to spend some time here but if he gets a job, he can’t spend his time at Koronu.

 

Adetunbi Saheed Ige, a lecturer at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, who grew up in the area when questioned by Obilo in the video about whether anything has changed in the area said, “Nothing has changed, in fact, it is now worse.

“It has been like this since my elementary school days. The boys don’t care about anything around them, they don’t think, all they do is smoke. This place is a little scanty because it is daytime, if you come in the evening you will see people eating fish, smoking Indian hemp and all sort of things.”

THE BRIDGE OF DEATH

As the people of Koronu axis suffer from unemployment, poverty and poor governance on the ground, there is a bridge of death hanging over their heads on top. This bridge flies over the Lagos – Ibadan expressway but there is no railing or barricade to prevent a pedestrian or vehicle from falling straight into the middle of the ever-busy highway.

Ige, a Ph.D holder, recounted his childhood memories of the bridge. According to him, “everywhere was set when I was going home, I used to stay at Olomi and I attended St. Johns primary school, Academy. When coming from school we plied this route using this pedestrian walkway to avoid vehicles but now everything is gone. There is no railing or barricade to prevent a pedestrian or vehicle from falling straight to the expressway.”

WE CAN RUN SO WE CAN WORK

As a confirmation of their ability and willingness to work if jobs are available, the people of this axis explained that when police officers come to arrest them they run.

When asked what he will demand for If he meets Seyi Makinde, the executive governor of Oyo State, the guy who claimed to be a graduate of a Federal Polytechnic said, “I’ll tell him to provide jobs for us because If the police come here now, we will run, and that means we have the ability to work if jobs are made available.”

Further investigations by OYOINSIGHT.COM reveal that there are numerous axis similar to Koronu in Ibadan that accomodate jobless youths in state who smoke for inspiration and wonder why they have to bear the brunt of a system that has failed its people.

From Beere to Mapo, Oja’ba to Idi-Arere, not forgetting places like Itamerin, Foko, Oranyan, and many others, the ancient city of Ibadan is filled with people who vote with the hope that the dividend of democracy will reach them.  

In a 2019 economic report released by the World Bank in December 2019, it said that the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty may increase by more than 30 million by 2030.

The bank also predicts that Nigeria will be home to 25% of the world’s most destitute people if the government fails to create a job.

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