By Sulaimon Sheriff

.As gov visits family, charges them to remain united
Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, hailed the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba (Dr) Mohood Lekan Balogun, for bringing peace and stability to the Olubadan Chieftaincy System within the short period of his reign.
He said the deceased monarch, who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District in the Senate between 1999 and 2003, played roles that ensured the traditional system did not fall apart.
The governor maintained that though Oba Balogun’s death was painful to him, because they shared a relationship that transcended politics, his life should be celebrated for his contributions to the progress of Ibadanland, Oyo State and the traditional institution.
Governor Makinde stated this on Thursday, when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Olubadan at his Alarere home, reiterating that the state government would give Oba Balogun a befitting burial.
According to him, the state government had already approved funds for the Fidau Prayers for the late Oba and would also do the needful at the appropriate time when he is to be given a state burial.
Governor Makinde said he had a robust relationship with the late Olubadan as one of his sons, even before he became the governor, stating that it was painful that Oba Balogun did not fulfill the desire to be the first Olubadan to occupy the ultramodern Olubadan palace.
He urged the family of the monarch to remain united, promising to always do the needful as the situation arises.
He said: “When Baba was admitted to the hospital, I was in touch with the doctors. I told them that they should try their best to keep Baba alive. I believe they gave Kabiyesi the utmost care in that situation, but we can only propose but God disposes.
“A lot of people may not know how close we used to be. Our relationship was beyond politics. But let me say that this is not the time for us to mourn but to celebrate the life of Baba and his contribution to Ibadanland, the traditional institution and Oyo State.
“If you recall, we had serious issues with our traditional institution before his ascension to the throne of Olubadan. Things were falling apart and it was painful. So, I told Baba as the next Olubadan then that he should withdraw the case in court so that I could sign. All of that happened and we were able to resolve the matter. That is why his death is painful to me.
“He died at a period he had brought peace and stability to the traditional institution in Ibadanland, and I was looking forward to the continued stability. But as humans, we can only plan. The final call belongs to the Almighty.
“This morning, I immediately approved funds for the Fidau programme because he is my Baba as well and we will do everything to give Baba a befitting burial.
“I want to urge the family to stay united, because when there is unity, it will allow us to channel our energy to make progress.
“I want to assure you that in my capacity as the governor of this state, I will do everything to support the family.
“We should even be happy Baba left in this Holy month and that, in itself, has a deep meaning. So, let us accept his passing as the will of God, because I know God has been gracious unto Kabiyesi.”
Earlier in his welcome address on behalf of the Alli Iwo Family, a former Head of Service in Oyo State, Chief Tajudeen Aremu, appreciated Governor Makinde for his support towards the late monarch during his lifetime.
He mentioned the construction of a road leading to the Palace, the massive infrastructural development in the city of Ibadan and the financial resources committed towards the construction of the new Palace for the Olubadan as some of the commendable efforts of the governor.
Also speaking on behalf of the immediate family, the first daughter of the late Oba Balogun, Mrs Funmilayo Osinowo thanked the governor for his love and care for their father during his lifetime.
Special prayers were offered for the repose of the soul of the late Olubadan by the Chaplain of the Government House, Pastor Layi Adisa and the Special Assistant to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Imam Abdulrasheed Abdulazeez.
Sulaimon Olanrewaju
Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor
March 21, 2024.