Sunday 2 January 2022

Olubadan: Unveiling Senator Lekan Balogun, the next Olubadan in-waiting

…there were allegations that Balogun was at loggerhead with the Oyo State incumbent governor, Seyi Makinde.

Following the announcement of the passing of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Salihu Adetunji, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land, Senator Lekan Balogun, has been touted to be the one to replace the late monarch of the South West Nigeria ancient city.

The incoming of Balogun, whose identity may not be known to many, as the next Olubadan may raise questions particularly on what his antecedents are to warrant him occupying such a the Ibadan land exalted stool.

According to The Street Journal, Balogun is described as a businessman, who sits on the board of several companies with interests in Oil and Gas, Distributive Trade, Management Consulting, Mechanized Farming and Export of non-oil items as well as Travels and Tourism.

A former senator, he was an administrator/head, industrial relations, recruitment and scholarships, planning and development at Shell Petroleum Development Company.

He was also a Research Fellow with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, a director with Triumph Newspaper, Kano; Editor of the Monthly Magazine-“The Nigerian Pathfinder” as well as Management Consultant for Multinational Organizations such as Leyland, Exite Battery, and Nigerian Breweries.

He’s a renowned technocrat, author and philanthropist.

He holds a Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Administration; Public and Social Administration and Economics from Columbus International University, Brunel University and Manchester University all in the United Kingdom.

A former Presidential Aspirant on the platform of SDP, Senator Balogun was also a Gubernatorial Candidate for the PDP in Oyo State in the present political dispensation and a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Fourth Republic.

He was chairman Senate Committee on National Planning and was a member of many Senate committees such as Appropriations, Security and Intelligence, Police Affairs and Defence (Army).

Balogun, who will soon become an octogenarian, has written and published widely. Many of his publications include but are not limited to; A Review of Nigeria’s 4 years’ Development Plan, 1970-1974; Nigeria: Social Justice or Doom; Power for Sale: published in Punch Newspaper; Arrogance of Power; Nigeria: The people must decide, among other publications.

Balogun’s Controversies

Royal Rumble

The incoming Olubadan has not been without his own share of controversy. In 2018, he alongside other Ibadan high chiefs got into a long-drawn battle with the late Olubadan, Oba Adetunji..

He was among those who accused the Olubadan of running a one-man-show and disregarding the Olubadan-in-Council.

They also accused the monarch of appointing Mogajis (family heads) and Baales (village heads) without consulting the council.

Balogun in particular was the most vocal of the chiefs who many believed instigated the crisis between the chiefs who deserted the Olubadan palace and the king.

Following a mediation between the Olubadan and the chiefs, the Olubadan had asked the high chiefs to apologise to the people of Ibadanland in particular and the Yoruba people in general for  undermining our custom and tradition.

According to him, there is nowhere in Yorubaland where two kings sit inside a palace.

“Apart from violating our customs and tradition, there is no law that backs the wearing of illegal crowns in Ibadanland,’’ Adetunji said.

Adetunji stated that contrary to the allegation of the high chiefs, he had done no wrong nor acted illegally at any time.

According to him, Section 22 (2) of the Chiefs Law, Cap 28 Law of Oyo State 2000 makes the Olubadan the prescribed and consenting authority on all chieftaincy matters in Ibadanland.

The monarch argued that the Olubadan-in-Council was merely an advisory body without any power.

Political Fight

Just last year, there were allegations that Balogun was at loggerhead with the Oyo State incumbent governor, Seyi Makinde. However, the incoming Olubadan swiftly refuted the claims by debunking the allegation of having a rift with Makinde. He also maintained that the Ibadan Traditional Council had no grudge with the governor.

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