Riches, reverence and royalty are three natural substances associated with Otunba Subomi Balogun, the blueblood from Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State. He is unarguably wealthy and winsome. For the founder of First City Group (a financial conglomerate comprising First City Monument Bank, FCMB Capital Markets, First City Assets Management, CSL Stockbrokers and City Securities), he is awed by his own achievements in life and humbly attributes his many successes to God. To those closer to this pioneer indigenous banker in Nigeria, he throws himself in the hands of God to make him whatever he wants. And he mostly gets what he wants and he is happy, ditto, what he wishes for all his children.
Lately, the head of Fusengbuwa family, one of the largest ruling houses in Ijebuland, as well as Olori Omoba of Ijebuland, has been battling an obnoxious report trending on the social media alleging that he is lining up his son, Ladi Balogun, as the next Awujale of Ijebuland. Rumours have it that it is the turn of the octogenarian billionaire’s ruling house to present the next Awujale and Otunba Balogun has allegedly resolved to present his 47-year-old second son rather than taking over the stool himself. This report, which started trending couple of weeks ago but came to the fore after the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, warned kingmakers at the 2019 Ojude-Oba festival not to politicise the selection of his successor or allow moneybags to hijack the process. This strong message by the very revered Oba Adetona on who becomes his successor further invigorated the rumour with the grapevine swirling that the billionaire banker has been making clandestine moves to get the throne for his favourite son. Of course, he was said to be very angry with those peddling the rumour particularly when it is known that it’s forbidden in Yorubaland to be scheming to succeed a reigning king and more importantly, a very close friend of the Awujale. He said, “I am most disappointed with the writers and those that are fuelling the rumour that I am plotting (to make) my son – Oladipupo Balogun – who is handling the affairs of my business – to be the next Awujale of Ijebuland, while the Alaiyeluwa is still very much alive. We all know that the Awujale, Oba Adetona, and I are friends; both of us are still alive. If the Awujale could make a pronouncement, does that mean that they should use my name to sell their stories?”
Spotlight gathered that prior to the present rumour, Otunba Balogun has been so disturbed about the recent media onslaught against Ladi, who is the Group Chief Executive Officer of the family business, First City Group. Despite the denial which is believed to be in adherence to the custom, many believe Ladi is a good fit for the throne as he has a good pedigree and has made a name for himself in and outside his father’s business empire as a high-flying professional.