Oba Lekan Balogun @ 2 on The Throne…and The Beat is Still on – By Oladele Ogunsola

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Another year has rolled by today, 11th March to make it exactly two years that the current Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Dr. Sen. Mohood Olalekan Ishola Balogun, CFR, Alli Okunmade II formally ascended the Ibadan throne as the 42nd holder of the Olubadan title. That day in 2022, he was presented with the Staff of Office by the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde, FNSE.

Two years on the throne may be little, but to every grateful heart, who appreciates that sleeping at night and waking up the following morning is by the grace of God and a privilege, the occasion worths rolling out the drums. What’s even more, Okunmade 1, the first to emerge from Aliiwo ruling dynasty reigned for only three months! There’s no point going into history of the longevity of the other past Olubadans on the throne, rather, just our expression of appreciation to the giver of life for this wonderful grace and privilege as we look unto Him for more years on the throne in robust and sound health. Albeit, just as it happened last year when the celebration of the first year anniversary could not be held around the exact date due to the 2023 general elections, this year’s Ramadan Fast commencing today had forced the shifting of the celebration to a latter date when there won’t be any form of encumbrance for anybody to fully participate in the joyous event. Holding every variable constant, the celebration would be highly significant as the likelihood of commissioning the multi-billion Naira new Ibadan Palace would be part of the second year anniversary.

The current year under reference has been full of events that would go down in history as remarkable and reference points. The issue of elevation of the High Chiefs, who are the members of Olubadan Advisory Council to the beaded-crown wearing Obas with the titles of Royal Majesties has been finally laid to rest with their crowing by Oba Balogun. Equally, the Ibadan ancient Baales also got promoted and became Royal Highnesses, also to the credit of the reigning Olubadan.

Oba Balogun alongside the members of his Advisory Council have identified and declared war against land grabbing, a menace that was assuming a dangerous dimension in Ibadanland when the reign began. To demonstrate their commitment to their resolve to stamp out the problem, one Mogaji Akinsola was derobed and only pardoned when he apologized and promised to desist from the ignoble act.

Presently, Baale Folarin, a community in Akinyele Local Government area is serving suspension as a result of his involvement in land grabbing offence. Prevention, they say is better than cure. To ensure that residents do not suffer injustice occasioned by the activities of the land grabbers or speculators, the Land Matter arm committee of Ibadan Compound Peace Initiative has been saddled with the responsibility of resolving issues surrounding land matters. The committee under the headship of Mogaji Asimiyu Adepoju Ariori, who is the President-General, Association of Mogajis of Ibadanland has been tremendously wonderful in terms of results output.

Several cases of land disputes have been satisfactorily settled to the admiration of Olubadan and his Council members. On the issue of insecurity, Oba Balogun has consistently been reiterating his zero tolerance for anything whatsoever that would disrupt the peace and tranquility of the largest city in West Africa under his reign. The Egungun festival that hitherto provided fertile ground for all manners of vices and crimes received a dose of sanction by the Olubadan as the festival suffered suspension following crises that erupted in some parts of the city during the last year celebration of the festival. The suspension only got lifted when the leadership of the Egungun cult gave an undertaking of peaceful outing. Equally, the security arm also of Ibadan Compound Peace Initiatives being coordinated by Asiwaju Mogaji Nurudeen Akinade with massive support by Jagun Olubadan, who is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ilaji Farms and Resorts, Chief Engr. Dotun Sanusi has also been working round the clock to ensure that Ibadan truly remains ‘pisiful’ under Olubadan as attention and focus has been on how to engage the restive youths. This has put paid to the negative groupings and congregations of idle boys in whichever number- hundred or million and their hitherto antisocial activities. All these could not have been achieved without the full support and cooperation of all the security agencies in the state, especially the Oyo State Police Command, whose Commissioner, Compol Adebola Hamzat has been wonderful in his relationship with the Olubadan.The new Ibadan Palace mentioned earlier is going to be a turning point in the course of Ibadan traditional institution history and by the special grace of the Almighty God, Oba Balogun is poised to be the first occupier as part of remarkable and reference points of his reign.

At the personal level, Oba Balogun has brought honour and dignity to the throne as he has become the first Olubadan to be named a Chancellor of a University with his appointment as Chancellor, Sa’adatu Rimi University of Education, Kumbotso in far away Kano State by the immediate past Governor of the State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. The reigning Olubadan also became the second to receive National Honour of the Commander of the Order of Federal Republic (CFR) on the throne. The first most educated Olubadan to have emerged, a Ph.D holder, Oba Balogun got additional feather to his academic cap with another Ph.D award, honorary causa this time around from the pioneer private University in Ibadan, the Lead City University (LCU) during the year under reference.

Chief Ebenezer Fabiyi Obey once sang that ‘bo ti wu koorun koo mu to, sanmo dudu die yoo wa, bo ti wu kaaye waa layo to, yoo lakooko ekun re’ literarily translated that however bright and sunny the sun may be, there would always be dark spots on the sky, however pleasant our lives may be, there would always be moment of sorrow. Appraising the year would be incomplete without adequate reference to the passing unto glory of the immediate younger brother of His Imperial Majesty, Alhaji Chief Bashiru Balogun, Baale Kalemori, who until his demise last June was his official Baba-Kekere. His death remains a dark spot on the sky in the sunny year and moment of sorrow in the pleasant life of Oba Balogun. May the Almighty Allah continue to peacefully rest his gentle soul.


Ogunsola is the Personal Assistant on Media to Oba Lekan Balogun.

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