By David Grey
Nigeria isn’t what it used to be; the state of security in the country is head-scratching, as several Nigerians are losing their loved ones to terrorist attacks. This spike in violence, as well as the menace of insurgency, has led to unrest and turmoil across multiple cities. Add the scourge that is noise pollution to all these, and what you have is a state of living that is, to put things mildly, chaotic.
These days, it’s even difficult to finish reading a book without being interrupted by a street fight, the unending roar of generators, mind-numbing vehicle honks, or the attendant loudness that comes with living in a commercial city.
In spite of all this, there are a number of Nigerian cities that still boast of the quietness and serenity that tourists and vacationers yearn for. In fact, there are certain towns that are so quiet to the point of unnerving first-time visitors. Here are the five most serene Nigerian cities to live in:
Located in the eastern wing of the Niger-Delta, Uyo is one of the safest and most developed cities in Nigeria’s South-South region. If you want a really chill city with great cuisine – the Afang soup is awesome – attractive tourist scenes and great security, then Uyo should definitely be on your list of preferred cities to live in. From the grassy parks at Udo Udoma to the sanity of Ewet Housing Estate, the capital city of the oil-rich Akwa Ibom State can be described as an archetype of sanity. If you are in dire need of solitude, you can take advantage of early migration, and rent an apartment in one of the city’s remote locations.
Also located in Southern Nigerian, the city of Calabar is one of the country’s most visited tourist locations. With a fairly low crime rate, friendly locals, and an impressive security system in place, Calabar is a fine choice for individuals in search of serenity. The city’s traffic is as light as feathers, and this means that you don’t have to deal with angry honks and screaming drivers on your way back home. The Marina Resort is where most of the fun is, and the restaurants at the Marian axis are sure to leave your taste buds wanting more. There’s also a colourful carnival that holds every December, which attracts thousands of visitors from all corners of the African continent.
Nigeria’s federal capital territory is where Nigerian politicians love to lay their heads, and everyone wants to be close to the seat of power while at the same time protecting their mental health. If you don’t mind paying a lot of money for your peace of mind and a serene environment, then you should consider moving to Abuja. Towns like Jabi, Gwagwalada, Maitama, Wuse 2, Asokoro, and Guzape have the atmosphere you are looking for. The food is decent, and if you love hiking, Abuja is the perfect city for you, with lots of hills to choose from. There is also the extra catch of visiting Crushed Rock, a quarry located in the Mpape axis, which is now a popular tourist location.
Due to the relative peacefulness of the city, more Nigerians have migrated to Ekiti state in recent times. A low cost of living, improved security, and a sense of community are some other benefits that come with migrating to Ado-Ekiti. If you don’t mind residing in a city that is not as commercial in nature as Lagos or Port Harcourt, then you should consider Ado-Ekiti for some peace and quiet. The best part is, compared to other Nigerian cities, the air in Ado-Ekiti is relatively clean.
Nicknamed the “City of Brown Roofs”, Ibadan has maintained its reputation as one of the most (relatively) peaceful cities in the country. This nickname still rings true because when you stand on a hill or a helicopter – yes, you could do this — you can see thousands of brown roofs, a testimony to how old this city is. If you want peace of mind, or you want to get closer to your traditional roots, or live in a city with a very low crime rate, then Ibadan is the city for you. For individuals who enjoy reading or working in extremely quiet areas, there are libraries and restaurants around Bodija, Akobo, and Iyaganku where you can visit for free, and have the ultimate moments of tranquility. As for the food, you should totally visit Amala Skye. You’re welcome. Also, the city houses thousands of exquisite apartments that go for extremely low prices.
So, there, you no longer have to rack your brains for too long if you are thinking of cities in Nigeria that you can visit – or live in – without worrying about sharing a fence with a church, or having to put up with the sound of car horns every weekday morning. In these cities, you can be sure of getting your beauty sleep without incessant interruptions, and more importantly, you don’t have to look over your shoulders all the time when sunrise gives way to nightfall.