Not how long, but how well; Obj says of late Olubadan’s reign.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday paid glowing tributes to the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, CFR, Alli Okunmade II, noting that his reign, though short but was impactful.

Oba Balogun, who received Staff of Office as the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland on 11th March, 2022 joined his ancestors on 14th March, this year, just about 72 hours after the celebration of his second year anniversary and was buried at his Aliiwo ancestral home the following day, Friday 15th March, 2024.

In a press statement made available to journalists in Ibadan by the Personal Assistant (Media) to the late Olubadan, Oladele Ogunsola, former President Obasanjo described the late Oba Lekan Balogun as personal friend and the visit being paid was his duty.

According to him, “the late Olubadan was not a foreigner to me, he was my friend and it is my duty to pay this visit to his family. He carried the position very well, he was ‘Gbobaniyi’. Naturally, we would have loved him to be around us for much longer time, but God knows best. As it is said in Yoruba that ‘o wuni ka jeran pe lenu, oofa ona ofun o je’ that’s as much as we want to hold the meat in our mouth, the drawer from our oesophagus won’t allow us.

“As I said, God knows best. Assuming that death did not come when it came but a worse thing happened, what could have been our reaction? We thank God for him, it is no how long, but how well”, the former President, who was accompanied on the visit by Chief Fasawe and Arole Gbenga Adewusi among others added.

In his terse condolence message in the register, Chief Obasanjo wrote, “Kabiyesi Balogun, sleep in your creator’s bosom”.

Responding on behalf of the family consisting of two of the Oloris, Olayinka and Olufunmilayo and few of the children, Bobajiro of Ibadanland and former Oyo State Head of Service, Alhaji Tajudeen Aremu mni what the former President did by the visit was a demonstration of genuine love.

Chief Aremu recalled that Chief Obasanjo truly demonstrated true friend by the visit which was a manifestation of the saying in Yoruba that whoever that identifies with somebody in his or absence is truly a friend of such a person.

“There’s nothing our late father can do for anybody now, he is no more in a position to offer anybody anything, either tangible or intangible, so whatever anybody does for him now is not because of receiving anything in return from him, but out of deep love and concern. The family appreciates Your Excellency and it is our prayer that God will preserve you more for the country in general and for Yoruba in particular”, Chief Aremu added.

Welcoming him and his entourage earlier, the Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade recalled that the former President was among the dignitaries that paid the late Olubadan visit before his coronation and his coming round now after his death was a clear demonstration of the love that existed between the two of them.

He prayed the Almighty Allah to repay him the good deeds and love being showed the family of the late Olubadan with a charge to him not to make the visit a one off thing but something that should be periodical as a way of identifying with the family.

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