The Oasis Reporters
March 11, 2022
‘God’s Grace upon my family is uncommon’ – Senator Kola Balogun
Twenty four hours before the coronation of the new Olubadan of Ibadanland, a representative of Oyo State Governor and Chairman, Ibadan South East Local Government, Hon Emmanuel Alawode joined Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mohood Olalekan Balogun Aliwo; Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District and younger brother to Olubadan, Senator Kola Balogun and others to present a Toyota Land Cruiser and JAC pick up as escort to the new Olubadan by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
A former Tribune newspaper’s ace Ibadan reporter, Dapo Falade interviewed Senator Kola Balogun, the younger brother of the Olubadan for The Coven and we bring you excerpts:
“My mother will buy a basket of kolanut. You know my brother was still very active in politics. People will come in and out of the house and she will be giving them the kolanut. And whenever people ask her, “why are you like this?, she will say, ‘mo fi n ra emi awon omo mi ni’. I can’t forget that.
I am just saying things that I know about them. I don’t know what they did that made God to be so benevolent to them because all these things that I said might not even matter to God. Like you said, there must be some things they did that were pleasing to God. Back then, I used to hear people saying ‘Iya awon eni yi, o ye k’eeyan maa fi toro’. Some others will say ‘iya alubarika, baba alubarika’. It is, indeed, an uncommon grace.
Apart from the little the public knows about him as a politician and a senator, who is the man that became the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland?
Kabiyesi is a very light-hearted person. He is very cerebral and is extremely intelligent. As you know, he is one person that was educated in the United Kingdom (UK). He came back and he never lost his British accent. My brother is liberal to a fault. If you come to him, even if you have offended him, he can’t keep malice; he doesn’t know how to do it. Even if you are the one that offends him, the next thing, he will call you to greet you. In my own case, I won’t call you to greet you. Once I get switched off, that is it.
The people of Ibadan, Oyo State and Nigeria should expect to see a man who does not keep malice; a man who has no time for enmity; a man who worries about the development of his community; a man who will like to serve the people. He is a man who is always willing to help and very accessible.
We were worried after the approval and appointment [as the new Olubadan] by Governor ‘Seyi Makinde because of the multitudes trooping into his house to pay homage.
From morning till night, he will just be receiving visitors. We were worried about his health and we would ask him to go on an hour break.
But once the people call him, he will just say, “let them come in”. That was when we told him, “you can’t be seeing everybody”. He does not avoid picking phone calls and he is not afraid of anybody. He can speak truth to power anytime and he is very courageous. I am sure the people will enjoy his reign.
Growing up, was there any sign that kabiyesi would attain this level in the future? Did your parents ever tell you anything or did he ever share with you any revelations that pointed to the fact that he is the future Olubadan?
Yes, there are signs. There are reasons to think or believe that he might become Olubadan. Of course, you know our mothers, typical parents, those who go to Church who are Christians, pastors will say, ‘this your child omo ologo ni’. Muslim parents too have a way of checking your star. My mother used to tell us; his older brother, her first child, was an engineer and UK-based. He was also doing well; he was a British man and a very straightforward person. My mother said that they said the eldest child will be a star, while he (the new Olubadan) is going to be a bigger star. That is, he will be famous.
Some few days ago when I was speaking with him about his mandatory seven days in seclusion, he was like, “how can I be in seclusion for seven days?” I said, you have to be because you asked for it. He said how? I said “it is something you have been praying for”. He said, “I never pray for it”.
That is why it is good to leverage on that kind of attitude. He is not desperate. That is why you can’t have him doing anything bad to his predecessor or to anybody.
I will also tell you why I said this thing is really destined to happen. When he was installed mogaji in 1986, the next thing he wanted to be is the Jagun. He began to lobby the then Olubadan to see how he can be appointed into that office. It could have been because he was promised. He had lobbied and almost secured the position but some powerful Ibadan people worked against it and supported another chief. Members of our family were not happy; in fact, they were annoyed with the then Olubadan. But he was placated and was told that he would get the next one. If he had gotten that one, he will still not be the Olubadan today because the Balogun line that he sought for was so static, while the Otun line they gave him was just moving up the ladder rapidly”.