A Traditional Title for Tafa Balogun

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Chiamaka Ozulumba writes that Tafa Balogun, a former Inspector General of Police, was recently installed as the Oluomo of Igbominaland, in the ancient town of Ila-Orangun in Osun

All first class Igbomina traditional rulers in Kwara and Osun states along with several eminent personalities converged on the ancient town of Ila-Orangun in Osun on Saturday to confer the traditional chieftaincy title of Oluomo of Igbominaland and award of excellence on a retired Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun.

The event, which was in two parts at separate venues began at the palace of the Orangun of Ila, Alayeluwa, Oba Wahab Oyedotun, Bibire II, where the chieftaincy paraphernalia of Oluomo (Star Child) was given to Balogun, who was represented by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Adegoke Fayoade.

While blessing Balogun’s title at the event attended by hundreds of the ex-IGP’s admirers, the Orangun of Ila said, “This title belongs to a powerful man.”

He rejoiced with Balogun on the conferment of the Oluomo title and prayed that God would continue to strengthen the unity of Igbomina people in Osun and Kwara.

“Ila and Igbomina rejoice with you. You will live long. God will not trouble you. You will know this time for good. And the land will know this time for good,” the Orangun of Ila said.

Other traditional rulers took turns to pray for Balogun. They wished him fulfilment of his dreams and prayed that God should uplift him, because he has been a source of joy to the people.

The traditional rulers and prominent personalities at the event explained why Balogun deserved the honor and award of excellence.

Prince Gabriel Oyinlola, a 96-year-old retired Permanent Secretary in the old Western Region and the first President of a socio-cultural organization called Asepo Omo Igbomina, said, “The retired Inspector General of Police, Tafa Adebayo Balogun is a true patriot; a true son of Ila-Orangun, in the first instance, and of the whole of Igbomina in the second instance.

“You can see all the first class Obas from Kwara and Osun states are here to honor him. It’s an honor that he deserves very much for all he has done for the physical development of both Kwara and Osun states; and also the development of human. He has been very helpful to very many people here in Osun State, and there in Kwara State. This is to let him know that we appreciate all he has done, and all that he will still be able to do for the Igbomina as a whole.”

Oloyan of Oyan in Ilorin, Oba Kelani Adegeye said, “Before one can be honored as Oluomo, he has come a long way in performance. He’s Adesina for Igbominaland.”

The Olomu of Omu Aran, Oba Ibrahim Oladele Adeoti, who is the vice chairman, Irepodun traditional council, described Balogun as an illustrious son of Igbominaland, who deserves the honor being received because of his dedication to the course of Igbominaland and how he has been paving the way for the people.

The Olupo of Ajase Ipo, Oba Sikiru Woleola, said, “This is called Asepo Igbomina. The Igbomina people occupy Osun and Kwara states. So, this is Asepo collective of Igbomina people in Nigeria. Igbomina is one of the existing kingdoms in Yoruba land. We are here to honor retired IGP Tafa Balogun as an illustrious son of Igbominaland and there will be awards to some community leaders.”

Chief Douglas Adeyinka Oyinlola, the Obalotin of Ila, spoke more about Balogun’s sterling qualities and what he had done to put Ila-Orangun on the world map.

He said, “We are celebrating Asepo Igbomina. Igbomina, as it is, is a section of Yoruba people with majority in Kwara and towns in Ila. All Igbomina Obas are around for the chieftaincy title, awards, and fundraising for the National secretariat of Asepo Igbomina here. The Igbomina people spread to Kwara, and a number of them here like Ila-Orangun here, Oke Ila-Orangun, and Ora-Igbomina. Only three towns of Igbomina are in Osun State, the rest are in Kwara.

“Tafa Balogun’s personality is colossal. So is his contributions to developments in Igbominaland. Because of his performances, we want to give him the traditional title of Oluomo of Igbominaland.

“Sometime, we wanted one Igbomina House in Kwara, around Iganmo, very close to Ilorin; the Kwara State governor, then, Saraki, did not want this to happen. But, when they fixed the date for the foundation laying of that building, Tafa gave order for the police to be there, and that was why we were able to build the foundation of that house.

“Another thing, when the time came to open the house, the governor did not allow them to open it, Tafa gave order again. Only Orangun here was able to commission the house.

“Now, we see Ila. And you see so many police officers around town with many Ila people in the Force by virtue of this Tafa. We have police college in our town now and not only Nigerians are training there, people are coming from all over the world to train. So, in the world map, our name is there by virtue of Tafa. He has been doing wonderful things for us here. That’s why we have all come together to confer on him the Oluomo of Igbominaland. In fact, he’s a round peg in a round hole. He really merits it.”

The conferment of the Oluomo title was followed by another elaborate ceremony including N1billion fund raising session for the building of Igbomina House and other developmental projects. The venue was a huge hall at Ila Community Education Centre, Idi-Ogbagbara on Kajola-Ajaba Road, Ila-Orangun, where there were representations for the former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande who was Father of the Day, with present governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and the deputy governor of Kwara State, Kayode Alabi as Special Guests of Honor.

The spacious hall was packed. Local drummers and entertainers had a field day outside. Royalty mingled with the peasant, and people hugged like long-lost friends. It was like Christmas all over again.

Chairmen of the occasion were Dr Deji Adeleke/Hon. Julius Fakeye, supported by Dr Bosede Oyedepo.

The ceremony commenced with a prayer from the Chief Imam, Olanrewaju Central Mosque, Ilorin, Kwara State, Alhaji Salaudeen Quadri.

The Chief launchers included the founder of Al-hikma University, Alhaji Abdulraheem Oladimeji, who is also the Asiwaju of Irese Land, Jagunmolu of Igbomina and Ekiti Land, and Arogundade of Lagos.

Others are Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Prophet Peter Abiola Adebisi, the General Overseer, CMCM Worldwide; Dr Benjamin Iyiola Oyefara; a member of the National Assembly, Hon. Taofeek Ajilesoro; Bishop Felix Owolabi of Faith Triumphant Church, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

The large turnout at the event was described as a testimony to the high level of respect and admiration which the traditional rulers and Igbomina people have for Balogun who was away in Europe. Balogun announced N2million donation at the event.

He said in his goodwill message: “My joy is heightened today because this particular event has signaled a much-needed unification process that should bind our good people together. I recall that on 12th November, 2011, when I was made the Chairman of Igbomina Day in Esie, Kwara State. On that day, I called for unity among our people in Osun and Kwara states. I am glad to note that that clarion call is what we are witnessing today.

“We will want this to be the beginning of the process that will be a permanent phenomenon. Therefore, all people associated with today’s occasion have written their names indelibly in Gold in the Chronicles of Igbomina history.”

Other people who received awards at the event included Professor Deboye Oriade; the Chairman, Ajagunla Foundation, Chief Olubiyi Fadeyi; Prince Yemi Adeoye, Dr Benjamin Iyiola Oyefara, the APC Chairman in Kwara, Hon Bolarinwa Omolaja Bashir; Mr. Olufemi Julius Fakeye; Chief Solomon Olaoye; Chief Bisi Akande Adeyemi, Chief Peter Adebayo Omolope Olorunnisola, Professor Joseph Olagunju; Dr Temitope Ilori; Dr Oludele Awodele; Hon. Justice Joseph Oyewole, Olaoluwa Osundina; Abiodun Afolabi; David Olapade; Otunba Remilekun Balogun; Alhaja Sarat Olarewaju; Alhaji S.A. Akerinla; Engr. Timothy Niyi Adebayo, High Chief Oladosu Adeyemi Ayobioloja, and Prince Gabriel Oyinlola.

The traditional rulers who graced the occasion included the Orangun of Ila, Alayeluwa, Oba Wahab Oyedotun, Bibire II, Olupo of Ajase-Ipo, Oba Sikiru Atanda Sanni, Woleola II, who is the Chairman of Igbomina and Ekiti Forum and the Chairman of Irepodun Local Government Traditional Council; Olomu-Efon II of Omu Aran, Oba Abdulraheem Oladele Adeoti Akolade Agboluaje; Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Omoniyi Asola Abolarin; Elese of Igbaja, Kwara State, Oba Ahmed Babalola Awumi the Arepo II and Chairman Ifelodun Local Government Traditional Council; Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, Oba Solomon Olugbenga Oloyede, who is the Chairman of Isin Local Government Traditional Council in Kwara State; Oba Sakariyawu Oladimeji, Orangun of Ika; Oba Yakubu Agboola Ibraimo Babalola, Elese of Ise Kingdom in Kwara; the Edigbon of Edemosi, Alayeluwa Oba Adeniji Olaniyan; the Odundun II, Akesin of Ora-Igbomina, Oba Samuel Oladoye Idowu, and the Asaooni of Ora-Igbomina, Oba Joshua Atolagbe.

Other personalities and groups included the President of Asepo Omo Igbomina, Alhaji Adewara Toyin Lawal and other executive members, religious and spiritual leaders, hunters, traders, artisans, socio-cultural clubs and associations.