Senator Lekan Balogun: A Technocratic, Kingly Personage | Oloye Abiola Iyiola

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    With the eternal passing to join his ancestors, yesterday, of the revered late Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Ibadan is most fortunate to expect a more progressive reign from the next Olubadan of Ibadanland, the current Otun Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun.

    Again, in the prideful history of Ibadan, the most populous city in Africa is going to be proud of having an erudite scholar, Senator Lekan Balogun, as the next Olubadan of Ibadanland. A well-read, vastly travelled person, Senator Lekan Balogun attended Manchester University for his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Brunel University for his Master’s Degree in Public and Social Administration, and Doctorate Degree in Public Administration from Columbus International University, all in the United Kingdom. As a scholar of repute, the Olubadan-in-waiting was a Research Fellow at the Ahmadu Bello University’s Centre for Social and Economic Research (ABU Zaria). The erudite scholar went on to work in newspapering as a Director of Triumph Newspaper in Kano as well as the Editor of a monthly magazine, The Nigerian Pathfinder.

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    After leaving ABU Zaria, Senator Lekan Balogun shored up his career journey by taking up an appointment at Shell British Petroleum Company. At Shell, Senator Balogun enjoyed a more flourishing career, gaining promotion every year until he rose to become the Head of Recruitment. However, in the course of his meritorious career as the Head of Recruitment at Shell British, Senator Lekan Balogun kept wrestling with his conscience over the way he was always refusing to accede to the legitimate demands of the Nigerian workers working in the company. When he could no longer endure the injustice he thought he was doing to fellow Nigerians by virtue of his position, he promptly called it quits, leaving his more flourishing career behind.

    It’s revealing to note that our Olubadan-in-waiting was an activist and a struggler for human rights. His greener pastures in UK exposed him to developing black consciousness and he had to join the leftist Marxist Movement to be able to pursue his human rights activism.

    Having a monarch who has been deep into murky waters of politics, operating at the highest level of governance is quite prideful and commands respect. This is the story of the Olubadan-in-waiting, who, on his return to Nigeria in 1978, pitched his political tent with the late Aminu Kano’s People’s Redemption Party, PRP.

    Senator Balogun made giant strides in politics having been a former gubernatorial candidate under the Nigerian People’s Party of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, a former presidential aspirant under SDP and a former gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Oyo State. He was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic between 1999 to 2003, playing major, active roles in the Senate as the Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning apart from being members of several Senate committees such as Security and Intelligence, Appropriations, Police Affairs and Defence (Army).

    As an author, the Olubadan-in-waiting has written and published several papers and books. Some of his scholarly works include: A Review of Nigeria’s 4-Year Development Plan, 1970-1974; Nigeria: Social Justice or Doom; Power for Sale, published in Arrogance of Power, and other publications. Olubadan-elect Lekan Balogun has a biography titled The Portrait of an Activist, a Biography of Lekan Balogun, written to chronicle his life.

    Senator Lekan Balogun is not found wanting in business also as he has business interests in oil and gas, distributive trade, management consulting, mechanized farming, export of non-oil items, travels and tourism. He sits on the boards of several companies in Nigeria.

    Senator Lekan Balogun is from Alli-Iwo dynasty. Alli-Iwo was the Balogun of Iwo who reigned during the times of Ogunmola. Balogun Alli was a formidable Ibadan warrior who assisted Ibadan to win several important wars across Yorubaland. In 1952 Olubadan Memudu from Alli-Iwo lineage became the Olubadan of Ibadan. Senator Lekan Balogun is going to be the second Olubadan from Alli-Iwo lineage. So, the scholarly Senator will be rightly titled as Oba Moshood Lekan Balogun, Alli-Iwo II, the Olubadan of Ibadanland.

    With the emergence of Senator Lekan Balogun as the next Olubadan of Ibadan, the city promises to live up to its cosmopolitan nature traditional depth as the new Olubadan will bring his intellectual, scholarly, and International exposure to bear in bequeathing a rewarding reign to Ibadan. Ibadan is going to witness never seen before developments as Senator Lekan Balogun will use his international connections to attract investors and invite enduring infrastructural developments to our great city. As a team player, the Olubadan-in-Council will become more formidable under the iconic reign of Senator Lekan Balogun while he will continue to take Ibadan higher from where the late Oba Saliu Adetunji stopped.

    May the reign of the Olubadan-in-waiting, Senator Moshood Lekan Balogun bring profound peace and prosperity to Ibadan in particular and Oyo State in general. May God keep the Olubadan-elect safe, alive and healthy to be able to administer Ibadan and return the city to its rightful glories.

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