Oyo State Governor, Others Laud Olubadan at 80

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The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, as well as prominent sons and daughters of Ibadan, monarchs and other well-wishers, have lauded the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Lekan Balogun, on the monarch’s 80th birthday.

The individuals, at separate times, on Tuesday, paid surprise visits to the Alarere, Ibadan, residence of the Olubadan, despite the decision of the monarch not to engage in any elaborate ceremony for his 80th birthday anniversary.

The monarch, who said he was short of words and could not hide his surprise, noted that his well-wishers made it loud for him, saying: “I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude.”

Oba Balogun, who clocked 80 on Tuesday, was born in Lalupon, a dusty Ibadan suburb in the present Lagelu Local Government Area of the state, where his parents were sojourning at the time.

Despite the low-key celebration, the airwaves were bombarded with congratulatory messages by individuals and groups just as the monarch’s residence witnessed visitations by some notable personalities, including governor Makinde, who arrived at the Alarere residence of the monarch around 2.00 pm unannounced, where he met the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRashid Akanbi and his contingent of about a dozen obas.

In a statement by his Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola, Oba Balogun said he was amazed at the turn-out of events, insisting that the family decision was to make it a solemn one with just prayers to be held both at his Alarere residence and the Aliiwo Ruling House, but, wondered how the whole public became aware.

He stated: “The public participation in the programme was simply a show of love for which I will remain eternally grateful. I never imagined that I could be that celebrated by my people, including those in the diaspora. What can I say than to remain appreciative to God while I continue to pray for the grace to serve Him through them the more.”

The Olubadan equally expressed surprise at the visit by governor Makinde, describing it as the icing on his birthday cake, symbolised by the show of love by the people.

He said: “The governor, whom I commonly referred to as my darling son, surprised me with his sudden appearance, even without notice. What else could one ask for? The first citizen of the state on visitation to my place, it’s a gift that cannot be placed any value on.

“I appreciate the governor and his entourage for the honour done to me and by extension to the Ibadan people, on whose behalf I currently hold the throne. I equally thank my brother from Iwo, Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRashid Akanbi Adewale Telu 1, who led a contingent of brother Obas from Osun State. I pray that you will all live long and our God will continue to increase your wisdom with which to direct the affairs of your people,” he added.

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The statement disclosed that the governor was accompanied by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Bayo Lawal, among other government functionaries.