Ake. The area, located not far from the Alake’s Palace and the first
church in Nigeria – St. Paul Cathedral, Ake – is renowned for its rocky
made drilling of boreholes and wells an Herculean task. No wonder, it
demanded the construction cum technology savvy of the construction
company, which handled the road expansion in the area, to unearth the
plethora of rocks deposited in the axis.
the Fleet Street, the journalism headquarters in London. As the latter
is famous for being home of major newspapers in the UK, the former hosts
the offices of several national newspapers in Nigeria.
sales representatives of newspapers hobnob with the vendors. Apart from
that, correspondents use to converge on Ijemo for their activities. It
also serves as a location where members of the public receive
newspapers, the first British daily newspaper, Daily Courant, was
published in Fleet Street on March 11, 1702. At its height, the street
in the UK was the pinnacle of a journalist’s career, with nearly every
national paper and several provincial newspapers having offices within a
retinue of journalists can be found. Even for any government of the day,
the fear of “Ijemo Bombers” as correspondents were dubbed, is the
beginning of wisdom.
Ijemo at the peak of journalists activities, would be greeted with the
clattering of typewriters and humming sound of the fax machines. Here,
office of each newspaper can be easily located as the signboard of such
newspaper is conspicuously hung on the building. Ijemo was so popular
and a hive of activities for journalists, than the NUJ Press Center, Iwe
Irohin in Oke Ilewo area of the capital city.
newspaper distribution, especially early in the morning, food vendors
are always found at the location. Also, pubs dot the Ijemo landscape
where journalists hang out.
to other parts of London. As a result, the buildings they left behind
gradually morphed into other uses.
the correspondents shifted their base to the NUJ Press Centre. With this
exodus, however, Ijemo lost its major attraction, except for newspaper
representatives as the once bubbling correspondents rendevouz gradually
thinned out. But like the “old soldiers that never dies,” Ijemo still
remains the largest singular location in the state where newspaper
distribution takes place on daily basis.
Olalekan, Ijemo came into being almost three decades ago. The hub of
newspaper distribution was initially situated at Oke Ijehun, but under
the stiff influence of newspaper agents.
decades, disclosed that he and his colleagues battled the monopoly of
the agents until they pulled out and regrouped at Ijemo. He recalled
that Ijemo, at its peak, was not only a meeting point for vendors and
distributors, but also melting pot for correspondents, who tried to beat
one another to exclusives.
due to the newspaper review, particularly on radio, as well as the
advent of the social media.
newspaper company, thumbed up The Sun for being the first to organise a
retreat in Ibadan, Oyo State, for newspaper distributors in the South
West. He wants such retreat be sustained to further cement the cordial
working relationship between distributors and newspaper houses.
According to him, his over two decades sojourn in newspaper business
environment, had not only enriched his knowledge about the nitty gritty
of newspaper distribution, it had also afforded him opportunity to
understand and appreciate how journalists work.
respectively recalled the “golden years” of Ijemo as the newspaper
centre in Abeokuta. They pointed out that patronage at Ijemo reduced due
to the economic situation in the country, their 20 years experience in
newspaper distribution at the centre, has broadened their horizons and
familiarized them with so many newspapers, including the defunct titles.
synonymous with print journalism, which according to him has created
jobs for several youth as newspaper vendors. He, however, noted that
activities at Ijemo had reduced saying unlike before, vendors now wait
till around 6p.m to sell their papers.
correspondents in Abeokuta, no longer holds sway, a former chairman of
the Correspondents’ Chapel, Niyi Ogungbola, said no one could pinpoint
the exact reason for the exodus to Iwe Irohin. He once served as the
state NUJ chairman.
Press Centre, might have started during his time at the helm of affairs
of the state NUJ. He said despite the movement, Ijemo, still hosts
offices of major newspapers, noting that the distribution and
circulation activities equally preserves the reputation of the location.
Information and Strategy, said Ijemo was always beehive of activities
for journalists. Ewuoso, who is a native of Ijemo, added that any
government information officer, both at the state and local government,
who knows his or her onions, must have close relationship with Ijemo.
newspaper correspondents in Abeokuta, various newspaper offices as well
as the daily distribution of newspapers at the location, still make
Ijemo the “Fleet Street” in the Rock City.