Ila-Orangun, a major town in Osun State and headquarters of Igbomina people spread across Osun and Kwara States, was agog recently.
On Saturday, November 21, first class Igbomina traditional rulers in Kwara and Osun states, along with several eminent personalities converged on the town 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 commenced at the palace of the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Oyedotun, where the chieftaincy paraphernalia of Oluomo was given to Balogun. The former police boss was represented by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Adegoke Fayoade.
The Orangun of Ila congratulated the new chief, even as he 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, noting that he has been a source of joy to the people.
The traditional rulers and prominent personalities at the event explained that Balogun indeed deserved the honour.
Prince Gabriel Oyinlola, a 96-year-old retired Permanent Secretary in the old Western Region and the first President of a socio-cultural organisation called Asepo Omo Igbomina, said: “The retired IGP, Tafa Adebayo Balogun is a true patriot; a true son of Ila-Orangun and Igbomina. You can see all the first class Obas from Kwara and Osun states are here to honour him. It’s an honour that he deserves very much for all he has done for the physical development of both Kwara and Osun states; 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, Oba Kelani Adegeye said: “Before one can be honoured as Oluomo, he has come a long way in performance. He’s Adesina for Igbominaland.”
Another prominent monarch and Olomu of Omu Aran, Oba Ibrahim Oladele Adeoti, described Balogun as an illustrious son of Igbominaland who deserves the honour because of his dedication to the cause of Igbominaland.
The Olupo of Ajase Ipo, Oba Sikiru Woleola, noted: “The Igbomina people occupy Osun and Kwara states. Igbomina is one of the existing kingdoms in Yoruba land. We are here to honour 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, said Balogun had done much to put Ila-Orangun on the world map.
He said: “We are celebrating Asepo Igbomina (unity of Igbomina). Igbomina, as it is, is a section of Yoruba people with majority in Kwara and some parts of Osun. All Igbomina Obas are around for the chieftaincy title, awards, and fundraising for the national secretariat of Asepo Igbomina here. The Igbomina people are mostly in Kwara, but there are some towns here like Ila-Orangun here, Oke Ila-Orangun and Ora-Igbomina.
“Tafa Balogun’s personality is colossal, and so are 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 did not want that to happen. But when the date was fixed for the foundation laying of that building, Tafa gave order for the police to be there, and that was why we were able to do the foundation.
“When it was time to unveil the house, the governor did not allow them to commission it, but Tafa again ordered the police to ensure protection for the people.
“Now, there are many Ila indigenes that are police officers, courtesy of Tafa. We have a police college in our town now and not only Nigerians are training there, people are coming from all over the world to train. Tafa put the name of the town on the world map.”
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 the Ila Community Education Centre, Idi-Ogbagbara, Ila-Orangun.
Former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande was Father of the Day, while incumbent governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and the deputy governor of Kwara State, Kayode Alabi were Special Guests of Honour.
Chairmen of the occasion were Dr Deji Adeleke and 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 launcher was the founder of Al-hikma University, Alhaji Abdulraheem Oladimeji.
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; and Bishop Felix Owolabi of Faith Triumphant Church, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
In a goodwill message, he said: “My joy is heightened today because this particular event has signalled 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 history of Igbomina.” Balogun announced N2million donation at the event.
Other people honoured at the event included Professor Deboye Oriade; 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, and others.President of Asepo Omo Igbomina, Alhaji Adewara Toyin Lawal and other executive members were also in attendance.
Many traditional rulers who graced the occasion included the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Oyedotun, Olupo of Ajase-Ipo, Oba Sikiru Atanda Sanni, Olomu 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, and scores of other traditional rulers.