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What Legacy Can Buhari Leave?



By Eric Elezuo

The euphoria that heralded the coming of Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 was heart deep. The retired general rode on the goodwill of Nigerians, and the popular consensus that the then president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had failed in his five years of presiding over the affairs of Nigeria. But it did not take long before the Nigerian public understood that they have been sold the wrong dish, in fact a dish more substandard than what was previously obtained.

Buhari’s first display of mediocrity was his inability to appoint an executive council to run the country. It took a whopping six months before the first round of ministers were announced. To make matters worse, Mr. President was in and out of the country, shuffling from one hospital to another trying to cure an ailment shrouded in secrecy till date. The president was out of the country for a cumulative 150 days, among which was a 90 days stretch.

When it was obvious that Buhari was completely cured, demystifying the earlier notion of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who claimed that the president had died overseas while a foreign replacement, who he called Jibril from Sudan, was forced on Nigerians, it still unfortunate as nation seem to remain on auto-pilot. The allegation of his supposed death has yet to be proved till date.

Across board, the more vocal voices and dissenting minds have unequivocally agreed that there is not much for the soldier-turned civilian president to leave as a legacy in comparison to his previous three predecessors; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, AlhajiI Musa Yar’dua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Much as Buhari is of the same stock with Obasanjo, analysts believe that both men are poles apart in terms of achievements and enduring legacies.

Chiding Buhari just after the 2023 Presidential Election in a letter, Obasanjo had said that Buhari’s sole legacy will be tainted unless he made some major adjustments to the outcome of the presidential elections. But as expected, Obasanjo was predictably ignored, putting to jeopardy any strand of legacy that can link to the former maximum ruler.

Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in an article titled Buhari’s Legacy, and published in the Vanguard of March 15, 2023, observed that:

“You would think exiting on the back of a thoroughly disputed election, for a man who came to power following an uncontested electoral victory and a textbook peaceful transition will be the ultimate dishonour that will define the character of an eight year leadership, but you will be wrong. There is a long list of failures that would precede the elections fiasco, and it might not be entirely uncharitable to assume that the president had one of those rare moments when a past flashes through a life, and you are made to clutch at one redeeming star out of a long line of gloom: support INEC to conduct an election that may get the nation to think his eight years did not exist.

“In those eight years, poverty and corruption and insecurity, the three scourges Buhari said he would fight have fed fat on weak leadership and swamped the nation. He had lowered the bar on good governance so effectively it will be difficult to see how it can be made lower. It would take a generation to retrieve bits and pieces of the nation that have drifted apart owing largely to incompetence and insensitivity in managing pluralism. The transition from him to the next good president(s) may test the nation’s resilience, and its surviving the stresses from recovering lost ground may reveal whether its foundations have been irretrievably damaged by the pure poverty of ideas that was the hallmark of the Buhari administration.”

With just two months for Buhari to exit the seat of power, stakeholders, analysts and the general public are digging deep to unearth what Mr President can be remember for other than policies that have polarised the nation into ethnic and religious divide where ethnic militants and secessionists have risen with vocal voices resonating across the globe. There was, and still is Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB, Sunday Igboho’s Yoruba Nation among others. These groups are consequences of marginalisation and barefaced ethnic profiling, especially with the people of the Southeast, who were accused and are being punished for not supporting Buhari during the elections.

During the campaigns, Buhari and his co-travellers have pinpointed Economy, Security and corruption are their key areas of concentration, but eight years down the line, poverty, insecurity and corruption have quadruple in every guise, and Nigerians are the worse for it.

It is obvious that Buhari himself understood his inept handling of the nation’s affairs in the concluding eight years, and vowed to make amends with the conduct of the 2023 general elections, and leave a lasting legacy. This was sold to Nigerians that the elections will go down in history as the best conducted and transparent election. Nigerians bought it, and were ready to forgive Buhari for his eight years of lukewarm administration if only he could get the election matter right, and allow them vote candidates of their choice. But that was not to be; the election proved to be the very opposite of what it was intended to be, recording massive rigging, violence, harassment and voter intimidation. The trump card for the election hidden in the Biometric Voter Authentication System (BVAS) and the IReV became a ghost of itself as INEC bypassed both and allotted votes and results as it pleases. Buhari’s intended legacy flopped. And he is no in a hurry to find out why. Rather he kowtowed INEC’s and his party’s stand of ‘go to court’ if you are not pleased.

As it stands today, Nigerians have been suffering a tripod menace since anyone can remember; there is scarcity of petroleum products, especially the petrol motto spirit with motorists and commuters queuing endlessly at filling stations and paying exorbitant prices where the product can be found. The naira redesign polity has inflicted untold hardship to homes and relationships. Many have reported lost their lives in their quest to get naira which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), mopped up with commensurate release of the new notes. People therefore, have to buy naira to spend naira. At a stage, the Punch reported that a total of 13 people had died protesting against the new policy. Even after an intervention by the Supreme Court to delay the rollout, President Buhari held on to his position. He showed flagrant disrespect for the judiciary.

Except of course legacy means leaving behind the positives, Buhari will sure be remembered for leaving behind a legacy of a nation soaked in its own blood; a nation where ethnicity and religion have been weaponised to kill its own citizens; a nation that took a million steps backward for every attempted one step forward. It is loudly rumoured that most of the areas taken by Boko Haram before Buhari came to power are becoming peaceful today, analysts ask why the transfer to the northwest as banditry is making waves unabated.

According to Tukur Abdulkadir, a professor at Kaduna State University, “Insurgents now controlled villages, and again, tens of thousands have fled the violence.

“If they could deal decisively with Boko Haram, people are still perplexed and bewildered as to why it has become so difficult for the Nigerian security agencies and the government of Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the problem of banditry in the northwestern part of Nigeria,” he said.

According to dw,com, which quoted a Lagos-based financial consultant, Shuaibu Idris, “To further exacerbate the situation, more and more young Nigerians are left without a chance after finishing their studies. Creating jobs and boosting the economy was another one of Buhari’s promises back in 2015.

“When President Buhari took over, our inflation rate was somewhere around 12% to 13%. Today we are talking about 21% to 22%. Can we say he has done well? Clearly the answer is no.”

Similarly, he pointed out that exchange rates for the naira as well as the national debt load had gone up significantly, while unemployment figures were also increasing.

What did the Buhari administration do to counter these developments? Conditional cash transfers and loans to farmers were among the policies. But they often turned sour, not helping to create jobs, Shuaibu Idris pointed out.

However, some believe that the president has done his best as is his slogan, owning to quite a number of policies implemented. But it is not farfetched that the implementations have been poor. They argue that there are many projects that have been abandoned for decades in Nigeria that he has either succeeded in completing all his or he is on the verge of completing. Like the prominent Second Niger Bridge. The bridge, a brain child of the Jonathan administration is yet to be completed the humongous amount of money pumped in notwithstanding. It is hoped that the bridge will witnessed full functionality before the May 29, 2023 handing over date.

But speaking on behalf of the government a few weeks back, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, said Buhari has done well. He said beyond infrastructure, the Buhari administration is leaving a legacy of a social investment programme that is unprecedented in Africa and had enhanced the quality of life of the beneficiaries.

“Our pace-setting social investment programmes like N-Power, School Feeding, Conditional Cash Transfer and GEEP (Government Enterprise Empowerment programme) have benefitted millions of our citizens, both young and old, and this can neither be trivialised nor denied,” he said.

The minister said the Buhari government has also put Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in many staples, including rice.

He said fertiliser blending plants in the country have increased from 10 in 2015 to 142 while the number of rice mills has increased from 10 in 2015 to 80 presently.

The minister said that based on the achievements, Nigeria, which was the number one export destination for rice in 2014, according to Thai authorities, is now ranked 79.

On security, he said the Buhari administration has revamped the sector in the face of unprecedented challenges in the country.

“Today, the Nigerian military is being restored to its glorious past, thanks to Mr. President’s foresight and doggedness in re-equipping the various services,” he said.

“And this has made it possible for the military to tackle insurgency and all other security challenges facing the country.

“As you can now see, this military has been recording successes after successes.”

He added that the current administration has ensured inclusiveness, especially in the areas of infrastructure and social development.

The minister said there is no state in Nigeria that has no road, bridge or housing project irrespective of party affiliation.

He added that while other administrations pampered corrupt people, the Buhari government exposed and put them on trial.

“Whereas the immediate past administration came up with such programmes as Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), they were implemented largely on paper until we came on board and ensured total implementation,” he said.

“The EFCC, the ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies have gone beyond merely arresting and prosecuting alleged corrupt officials to institutionalising the fight against corruption through various programmes.”

Not many bought into the minister’s analyses, as there is nothing to show for any bogus achievement mentioned.

But stakeholders believe that there could be one last area Buhari could write his name in gold and cause Nigerians develop amnesia over his humongous failures. They unanimously agree that the area is the judiciary.

Popular opinions has it that the judiciary must be allowed a free hand to decide cases even as the election petitions are on the front burner.

Consequently, the world watches with keen interest to see if matters of the court will also be mishandled as the INEC conducted-elections, and that may mean that Buhari may go down in history as the Nigeria president without a tangible legacy to his name. But someone said God forbid!

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High Society Celebrates Veteran Journalist, Dele Momodu at 63




By Eric Elezuo

Dele Momodu, without an iota of doubt stands tall among those who have been diligent in businesses, and it is therefore, no surprise that he has stood, and is still standing not just before kings but with kings. The celebration of his 63 years birthday was another clear instance to prove how outstanding, connected and downrightly influential Aare Dele Momodu is.

Celebrated in his modest London home, Momodu’s 63 years birthday proved to be another melting point for the who is who in the society to further reach out to the man, many have christened Mr Principles. Both online and in person, the cream de la cream of the society ensured that the classic writer had the best of days.

At his home in London, the small crowd of well wishers witnessed a cameo appearance that will remain indelible in their minds. That was the unexpected visit of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the just concluded Presidential Election, Mr. Peter Obi. Obi’s presence proved Momodu’s continuous sermon of politics without bitterness. Others in attendance were Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, Mr. Yemi Edun, Fintech specialist, Dozy Mmobuosi, Princes Adedamola and Adeyemi Aderemi, Chairman Dan Ngerem and wife, and many others.

Born Ayòbámidélé Àbáyòmí Ojútelégàn Àjàní Momodu on May 16, 1960, some 63 years ago, Chief Dele Momodu as he is known in the business circle, and Bob Dee, in the social stage, is by every standard a man who is diligent in his business. And it is no wonder that he has not only stood before kings, he had and continues to dine with kings. There is practically no influential person that Dele Momodu does not know across the length and breadth of Nigeria, Africa and on the inter-continental stage. He is that large!

Most men who had gone far in life are products of instructions well taken, and among such rare breeds is the man who has grown in leaps and bounds to become Chairman/CEO of Ovation Media Group, and creating a tripod publication namely Ovation International, a magazine that has given publicity to people from all over the world, and reflected the true of Africa; Ovation TV and The Boss Newspaper online, which he officially launched in 2015.

By every standard a rare breed, Momodu is many things in one; journalist/publisher, businessman, philanthropist, actor, politician and motivational speaker. Among all these he considers himself simply as a reporter, and even with a retinue of seasoned staff still ventures into the field to scoop exclusives. Those who have referred to him as a workaholic are not far from the truth. Even he, himself has an oft quoted line thus “those who come from poor background cannot afford to sleep too much”.

A beacon of the Momodu family, Dele, the last of three siblings, was ‘privileged’ to lose his father at the age of 13, and was therefore sentenced to the complete tutelage of his mother, and sometimes relatives. His mother became practically his mentor, teacher  and soulmate until she passed away on May 18, 2007, two days after Dele’s 47th birthday. According to him, one of the many morals his mother, who he revered next to God, taught him, is never to despair even when times are tough. Even in her near poverty state, Dele maintained that ‘she didn’t give up on me.’

The accomplished journalist, whose first name was derived from Ayobamidele, meaning “my joy has followed me home”, is a proud 1982 graduate of the University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) where he obtained a degree in Yoruba Language, and followed it up in 1988 with a master’s degree in English Literature.

He kicked off his professional career as a lecturer at the Oyo State College of Arts and Science in Ile-Ife, between 1982 and 1983 while serving as a corps member. He went on to become the private secretary to the former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo, a position he held from 1983 till 1985. In 1986, he was elevated to serve the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, managing his Motel Royal Limited.

A genuine seeker of academic knowledge, Momodu resigned soonest and pursued a post-graduate degree in English Literature. It was during this time that his multi-tasking ability was brought to the fore as started contributing articles to popular brands likes The Guardian, Sunday Tribune and others.

Better known as Bob Dee among friends and colleagues, Momodu is not a stranger to awards and honours as he has received hundreds for his work in the world of business, politics, literature, the music industry as well as the fashion industry. On July 30, 2016, Dele was awarded with an honorary doctorate degree (PhD) from the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana, earning him the title “Doctor of Humane Letters”.

A fiery and fearless writer, Dele has for years been writing a weekly column, Pendulum, published every Saturday on the back page of Thisday newspaper, which he piloted as the founding editor, and TheBoss Newspaper. The articles have been compiled into two volumes of a must read books titled ‘Pendulum: The Writings of Dele Momodu’, and was launched in July 2018.

Momodu’s articles are noted for highlighting issues in Nigeria, as well as ‘discussing popular topics, current events and famous people, often in a polemic style’. He has used this means to bring about fundamental changes in national and world politics. His down to earth analysis in his write-ups has made it possible for him to remain neutral and factual at all times, thereby keeping no enemies. He gave Buhari his support through Pendulum and renounced his support through the same means when he realised the President has failed in steering the country to greatness as earlier envisaged.

In May 1988, Momodu started his journalism journey when he was employed as Staff Writer with African Concord magazine, owned by late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. he did not just blend with the job, he blended with Chief Abiola, who became the epicentre of his new life philosophy. He highly highlighted this era when he celebrated his ’30 years of living and working in Lagos in 2018. The two part volumes were published in The Boss Newspapers.

A year later, he was transferred to Weekend Concord as a pioneer staff. He wrote the first cover story for the paper in March 1989. He also contributed to other publications such as the National Concord, Sunday Concord, Business Concord and the Yoruba newspaper Isokan. In May 1989, he became Literary Editor, and within six months, he became News Editor of the Weekend Concord. His rise was meteoritic. He held a promise of a class beater, and didn’t disappoint.

Among the many firsts Momodu later came to be known with is becoming the highest paid editor in Nigeria when between May 1990 and September 1991, he edited May Ellen Ezekiel’s celebrity magazine, Classique.

On resigning from Classique, he ventured into business, becoming Wonderloaf distributor, owned by his mentor, Chief Moshood Abiola. Afterwards, he started a public relations outfit, Celebrities-Goodwill Limited, which managed the accounts of Chief Moshood Abiola, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie and other distinguished Nigerians. Dele started from the beginning to snudge close to the best of citizens. It wasn’t therefore a surprise that even at his 30th birthday, the guest list was eye popping, and has kept improving ever since.

In 1993, Momodu came face to face with politics and its intrigues when he joined the Moshood Abiola Presidential Campaign Organization. After much efforts, Presidential election held on June 12, 1993 was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida. There and then, he witnessed barefaced political persecution, enjoying the first bitter taste of a junta regime and its jackboot.

Much as he was severely punished by the reigning dictatorship for his pro-democratic views, he remained undeterred. He was to be arrested again in 1995 and charged with treason by the government of Sani Abacha. Momodu was accused of being one of the brains behind the pirate radio station, Radio Freedom (later Radio Kudirat), after the cold-blooded murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. Momodu managed to escape disguised as a farmer through the Seme border into Cotonou, in Benin Republic, from where he fled to Togo, Ghana and eventually to the United Kingdom. For three agonising years, he could not re-enter his homeland, Nigeria. This is one story he has told repeatedly.

In 2011, Momodu ventured deeper into the murky waters of politics when he contested for the presidency. The graphic details of that era of his life is captured in the book ‘Fighting Lions’ by Ohimai Amaize.

Again, in 2022, Momodu reentered politics, joining the Peoples Democratic Party, and declaring intention to become contest for the office of the president. Having lost to the eventual winner of the primary election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Momodu, in the spirit of camaraderie, joined the candidate to campaign for the presidency as the Director of Communication and Strategy.


But like they say, challenges are the hurdles to greatness, Dele took the best advantage of those agonizing periods in the wilderness and conceived the Ovation International project that was to turn the face of entertainment and celebrity writing, and make him a praise upon the face of the earth.

Ovation was established in 1996 while in exile. Since then, he has expanded the brand, and it is now one of Africa’s most popular celebrity magazines. It is also reputed to be the only bi-lingual magazine in Africa, having editions printed in both English and French.

During the Ovation Carol of 2018, Momodu took time to emotionally honour those who helped his cause during the dark days, leading to the making of Ovation. He identified the super heroes as Mr. Fatoye, whom he said stirred the desire in him to set up the brand, and Chief Alex Duduyemi who released 10, 000 Pounds to begin the project.

Apart fro the wave Ovation is making across the world, Dele has held an annual event every year since 2008 known as the Ovation Red Carol (later changed to Ovation Carol and Awards), except in 2010, due to the 2011 presidential election which he was a candidate. The Carol, with the theme, ‘It’s All About Hope’, is held every December, and has become one of West Africa’s most popular annual Christmas events, involving musical performances, award presentations for varying charitable causes among others. From 2008-2012, it was held in Lagos, Nigeria, but was held in Accra, Ghana, in December 2013.

In 2013, former president of Ghana J. J. Rawlings attended, with Wyclef Jean as the headline act, along with many other international performers, including M.I, Ice Prince and Burna Boy from Nigeria. In 2015, the popularity the event had gained prompted the hosting of two shows for the first time – one in Lagos, Nigeria and the other in Accra, with Nigerian performer Wizkid headlining both events, as well as American singer Evelyn “Champagne” King for the Lagos show. As at date, there is hardly any musician of repute in Nigeria that has not been featured.

A magnanimous  and forgiven leader, he took in quick strides the campaign of calumny launched against him by David Adeleke, also known as Davido, when he stood to defend his cousin, Sophie Momodu, who had a baby for Davido and was being badly treated. With open arms, he took back the singer, remembering not the abuses he unleashed against him through the pages of the newspaper and music. In fact, Dele is known to even sing the same song that people think derides him. Consequently, against all odds, he initiated and spearheaded a great reconciliation moves that saw him bringing Davido on stage of Ovation Carol 2017 to perform. That singular act created an enigma out of the world’s own Bob Dee.

With offices in Ghana, Nigeria and England, Momodu has a workforce of over 200 persons; the same he pays regularly unlike many media owners.

He is an avid traveler of great repute, and has traversed the length and breadth of the globe, making friends with the who is who in today’s world politics, entertainment as well as business. There is hardly a country in the world Dele Momodu has not visited.

Momodu added another feather to his cap of glory when he was made the Aare Agbelugba of Yorubaland by a first class king, His Royal Highness, The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu I in Iwo town. Among his many accolades is the singular honour of being a Fellow of Oxford University.


On December 19, 1992, Dele married his sweetheart, Mobolaji Abiodun Momodu, who he adores and honours. He lavishly hosted her to a 50th birthday celebration in December 2017, and they are blessed with four children: Pekan (1994), Yole (1996), Eniafe (1997) and Korewa (2004). Today, the four boys are becoming a force to reckon with in their chosen fields.

The world couldn’t ask for a better media mogul even as pages and ink won’t be enough to celebrate Bashorun Dele Momodu at 63.

Congratulations sir!

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Boss Picks

Otunba Subomi Balogun: The Fall of an Iroko




By Eric Elezuo

Even at a good age of 89, the news of the death of the founder of Nigeria’s first indigenously owned bank, Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun, came to the banking world in particular, and Nigerians in general, as a rude shock.

However, solace is derived from the financial guru’s oft-quoted line that “Until I have excelled and achieved the best, I would not be satisfied.” It is therefore, assumed that the banking czar feels fulfilled, and so answered the eternal call in the early hours of Monday, May 19, 2023 in far away London. He, without a doubt totally exceled in his chosen field, and made innumerable impacts upon humanity. His death is by all means a sudden fall of a great iroko.

Otunba Balogun’s 89 years of earthly existence remains a hallmark of influence, inspiration, adaptability, focus and mark differentiation in the ways of doing things. He was a creator of firsts. The Integrity, excellence, determination and some other qualities he exhibited while pursuing his quest for lawful impact will forever trail his name wherever it is mentioned.

His days at the helm of affairs of one of Nigeria’s prolific banks, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), which he founded, were superlative, and the bank maintained its foremost status indeed and in need.

Balogun was a colossus in the Nigerian money market, trailblazer and pioneer extraordinaire in the sector. He proved that one can be what he wants to be provided he set all his attention to it.

Originally trained as a lawyer before delving into the world of finance and capital, Balogun was born on March 9, 1934 at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State to prolific parents of the Fasengbuwa Ruling House of Ijebu Ode, who understood the essence of giving a child the education legacy.

A proud alumnus of the prestigious Igbobi College, Lagos, where he graduated with a Grade 1 certificate, Balogun left for England in 1956 to pursue a course in Law. As a hardworking person he had grown to be, he promptly graduated with an LLB Honours in 1959 from the London School of Economics, and was called to the English Bar in the same year.

In 1962, Otunba Balogun took up the first major challenge of his prosperous life when he was appointed the first Nigerian Assistant Parliamentary Counsel, a post he held till 1966 when he was elevated to the position of First Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank. His efforts and productivity left no one in doubt that a Nigerian whiz kid has been born. He held sway till 1975. It was while with NIDB that he developed a penchant for banking and financial matters. Promptly, in 1973, he became Director of Operations for Icon Securities and spread his tentacles to other financial related endeavours including the membership of Council of Stock Exchange representing City Securities Limited and Icon Securities.

Humility was his core value, and so whenever he had the opportunity to recount his sojourn in life, the late entrepreneur extra-ordinaire had always returned all glory to the Most High, whom he believed was the reason for everything that happened to his life.

He once said: “I have gone through the crucible and I have emerged a stronger person, and victorious. I, like all Christians never lose hope which is why I have adopted the church hymn that says through the love of God our savior, everything will be well. I thank God for my life. Most achievements of human beings are acknowledged posthumously, but in my case, God gave me the grace to see the amazing grace He has showered me with, and I’m a particularly lucky son of God”

Grand Master, as he was known among stakeholders in the banking and finance world as a result of his dexterity, innovativeness and outright can do attitude, set up his own securities outfit in 1977 after resigning from Icon, and since then, has not looked back, taking the financial world stride by stride in total accomplishment.

In 1979, he set up the first solely Nigerian owned merchant bank, known then as First City Merchant Bank. It was in 1982, however that he joined the retinue of commercial banking operators with the new improved First City Monument Bank, and followed it up with setting up of a chair for capital market studies in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, a school he was so passionately attached to, in 1987.

Brilliant and well-travelled, Otunba Balogun was not one to take with kid gloves the traditional institution, and so, he passionately attached himself to the famed Ijebu Ode annual festival known as Ojude Oba. He cherished the festival so much that he threw his weight behind it year in and year out. That, among many other achievements earned him the enviable title of Olori Omo-oba of Ijebuland.

You need not know Otunba Balogun on close quarters before perceiving the intimidating aroma of his down to earth personality, infectious generosity, phenomenal achievements and fatherly dispositions. He was a man everyone wishes to have as husband, father, uncle, son and many more.

As reported in his company’s website, Balogun’s “story is that of a man who understood early in life that the true essence of wealth is achieved only when it is deployed to the service of humanity, especially the less privileged. A man of proven immense wealth who is highly regarded, respected and honoured in the society, the honour bestowed on Otunba Balogun does not, however, stem from the immensity of his wealth, but from the good use to which he has put this wealth for the service of humanity.”

His ability to affect lives, most especially the less privileged, also bestowed on him more than enough appellations including the Otunba Tunwase, the Olori Omo-oba of Ijebu; the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, the Baba Oba of Ijebu-Ife and the Asalu-Oba of Ijebu Mushin. In addition, everyone agrees that he is the pioneer and role model of entrepreneurial banking in Nigeria as well as a constructive philanthropist and a distinguished church leader.

Otunba Subomi with Otunba Gbenga Daniel

Otunba’s love for children was phenomenal, necessitating the building of several institutions for the health care, welfare and survival of children. During one of his great birthday celebrations, he announced “…Don’t give me a personal birthday gift, give everything you have for me to the children’s hospital”.

Otunba’s immeasurable contributions to the wellbeing of mankind and growth of the financial world have attracted a long list of recognitions in his trail. He was a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers; Council Member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and until his death, the Life Vice President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce. He was also a recipient of the American Biographical Institute Inc’s Distinguished Leadership Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Investment Banking.

In addition, he held the University of Ibadan Doctor of Law degree (Honoris Causa) and the Olabisi Onabanjo University Doctor of Science Degree in Management Sciences.

In addition, he made notable commitments in major institutions of higher learning including setting up a Professorial chair at the University of Ibadan for Capital Market Studies; a research fellowship in the Legal Department of the University of Lagos, Yaba College of Technology, African Leadership Forum, etc.

Otunba Balogun was a holder of the National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). He was also a holder of the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine Al merito della Repubblica Italiana (Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy), conferred on him by the Italian President in January, 1994.

The foremost banker was also a distinguished author, a respected opinion and community leader. He is credited with the writing of The Cross, The Triumph and The Crown among other literary works.

“I have a very strong character. There is nothing that I did that I wish I had not done. I have no regret over any of my past actions,” he said.

Philanthropy was an interesting pastime for the man whose physic towers above normal primates; a gentle giant of some sort. His philanthropic life remains the testimony of all who has been privileged to meet him in one way or another. He took his giving talents further with the establishment of the ‘Otunba Tunwase Foundation’ through which he exhibits his philanthropic spirit to all and sundry.

Otunba was happily married and blessed with lots of children and grandchildren.

Today, and in the coming days, the life and times of this great Ijebu export will be on the front burner as it will take more than some time to completely dissect the enigma he was in his 89 years of living, especially in the last 44 years when he dared the impossible with the establishment of FCMB.

Adieu Chief Michael Olasubomi Balogun!

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Boss Picks

FCMB Founder, Subomi Balogun is Dead




The founder of FCMB, Subomi Balogun, has died. He reportedly died in London Friday morning.

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