Iyamo today sits like a maiden who is being gorgeously decorated by waiters but is still full of expectation. Her eyes appear fixed on a horizon just dawning.

Spell it Iyamo or Iyamho and it is one and the same small, rural community that lies by the Auchi – Abuja Expressway in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.

Iyamo, the hometown of incumbent Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole would ordinarily never be known to most Nigerians. There are virtually no landmarks, no industrial activity and no lures.

Today, however, courtesy of their illustrious son – an erstwhile firebrand labour activist turned politician and governor – the fortunes of this sleepy village are changing dramatically. Iyamo is leaping onto national, if not international reckoning. The Edo State government headed by Oshiomhole has built a brand new university aptly named Edo University at Iyamo.

By Nigerian standards, the architecture and finishing of the buildings that have been erected show the seriousness and quality–thinking that are behind the project. Any observer would readily tell you that there is something close to a new skyline at Iyamo.

Authorities of the new university which is expected to admit its first students this year describe it as a world – class university. “The Edo University Iyamo is a world class university set up by the Edo State Government to cater for the educational needs of her teeming populace who are willing to pay for quality education,” they say. The phrase, “populace who are willing to pay for quality education,” syncs well with Governor Oshiomhole’s thinking. The governor believes the university has to have quality and that those who are enrolled in it should be willing to pay. So, Iyamo may not just now be a university town, it may be aspiring to acquire the description of “the seat of quality education.”

For a start, Edo University has three faculties namely Arts and Education, Social Sciences and Sciences. Arts and Education has five departments: English, International Studies and Diplomacy, Educational Studies and Management, Mass Communication and Theatre Arts.

Social Sciences has Accounting, Business Administration, Banking and Finance, Economics, Political Science and Public Administration and Sociology.

The Faculty of Science has Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science and Mathematics, Microbiology and, Physics.

“My message,” says Oshiomhole, “is that education is part of the solution and a fundamental component of our development strategy.”

Critics of the Edo University idea however argue that funding may pose a challenge to the new institution since it will be run by the state government whose resources are lean. Such critics are quick to point out that the state already owns a university – Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma – whose financial challenges have been quite daunting to the Edo State government.

Significantly, Ambrose Alli University was founded by the late Professor Ambrose Folorunso Alli during his tenure as Governor of the defunct Bendel State. The university which he named Bendel State University was not located elsewhere but his hometown of Ekpoma.

Edo University aside, at Iyamo, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole looks larger than just an agent of change. He may well be the change itself.

Flashback: Friday, May 15, 2015. Oshiomhole drew Iyamo to the national stage when he wedded Iata Fortes, the amazingly beautiful and youthful lawyer from Cape Verde.

It was a fairy–tale spectacle whose story may still be told by coming generations of Iyamo citizens. That day, helicopters in their numbers practically seized the airspace of the village as they conveyed all manner of guests to the event. Politicians were of all shades. They included the then President–elect, Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo. There was also former Nigerian Head of State, Yakubu Gowon. Incumbent and erstwhile state governors poured into Iyamo from different parts of Nigeria. The Inspector – General of Police, Solomon Arase was there alongside other government big people.

The business class was represented by Nigerians with intimidating business profiles. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote was there with the likes of Femi Otedola and Jim Ovia.

The “movers and shakers” of the Nigerian society aside, that day, Iyamo also hosted all manner of opportunity seekers. There were the “go – go” boys and there were the “chew – chew” girls.

It was a day the Auchi – Abuja Expressway which runs by the village appeared to have been gripped by the shock of what was happening. Vehicular traffic stood still for several hours.

Iyamo today sits like a maiden who is being gorgeously decorated by waiters but is still full of expectation. Her eyes appear fixed on a horizon just dawning.