As someone who fondly remembers the joy and excitement that Trans Amusement Park brought to the holds of children in Ibadan during my youth, I find it disheartening to hear about the sale of its land for residential development. Our childhood memories were filled with horse riding, car racing, rollercoaster swings, and thrilling slides, experiences that our children may never have the chance to enjoy.
Agodi Gardens, too, held the potential for economic growth and prosperity, which is a discussion for another day. It’s clear that tourism plays a pivotal role in the development of our beloved state, and it doesn’t take a genius to see this.
We desperately need investments in these parks and gardens to bolster our tourism sector and, by extension, our state’s economy. I’ve often advocated for transforming Trans Amusement Park into a world-class attraction, but the news of selling these properties for residential use is heartbreaking. These sites could serve as tourist destinations and significant revenue sources for the government.
It’s disappointing that the state government hasn’t explored ways to breathe new life into these parks and enhance the economic well-being of our state. I must express my disappointment in Governor Seyi Makinde for this decision.
However, I won’t be quick to discard the possibility of any alternative plan by the government to rebuild the parks and gardens elsewhere or other plans to rejuvenate the tourism sector in Oyo State. If such exists, the government needs to make such plans plain and public so we can be sure the government has a real plan for Oyo state.
If the government’s aim is redevelopment and attracting investments, selling these irreplaceable pieces of Ibadan for private use seems like a shortsighted approach. Instead, we should redirect our efforts toward seeking private-sector partnerships and investments to revitalize these public assets.
In conclusion, I strongly urge the reversal of plans to develop residential estates on these valuable properties. Let’s call upon major investors to help us transform Trans Amusement Park and Agodi Gardens into world-class amusement parks. Doing so would not only put Ibadan on the tourism map but also have a positive ripple effect on our economic growth and significantly boost state revenue. It’s time to rethink the future of these cherished places for the betterment of our community and our state.