Tinubu, VIPs pay tribute as FCMB founder, Balogun, is buried

President Bola Tinubu, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.); Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos); and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), among others, have paid tribute to the late founder of the First City Monument Bank, Otunba Olasubomi Balogun.

Balogun, who was the Otunba Tunwase of Ijebuland and the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians before his death, passed on May 18, 2023 in a London hospital, following a brief illness. He was 89.

The family of the banking giant, in a statement announcing his demise, said a condolence register would be opened from May 22 at his homes in Lagos and Ijebu-Ode, as well as six other locations.

Balogun’s hometown, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, was agog with dignitaries who gathered to honour the late Olori Omo Oba of Ijebuland.

Shettima, who represented the President at the burial held on Saturday, described the late Otunba as an “institution in the Nigerian banking sector and a model for generations of bankers.”

During his speech at the funeral held at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Shettima, acknowledging the contributions of Balogun, said he would be missed.

He acknowledged the contributions of Ijebu sons and daughters to the development of the country as a whole, saying, “You, our dear people of Ijebuland, must be grateful for the personality you have raised for the nation and the world.”

He added, “We give gratitude to Almighty God for bringing Otunba Subomi Balogun to the world. The world is going to remain grateful to him (Balogun) even much longer than he lived. So, we are here to celebrate life.

“He is an extraordinary individual who changed the course of history. May his legacy continue to inspire generations to come. We pray that God will grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

In his remarks, Governor Abiodun, said the late Balogun was “a role model, an intellectual and quintessential human being.”

Abiodun also noted that his contributions to the banking sector, Ijebuland and the church would be missed, adding that “the righteous will be separated from the wicked on the judgement day.”

Speaking during the funeral service, Abiodun said the late founder of FCMB was a proud son of Ijebuland and Ogun State, noting that he was a “colossus of our time.”

Sanwo-Olu, in his condolence message on Saturday, described the late Balogun as a renowned technocrat, seasoned administrator and philanthropist, who made a mark in the country by contributing to the growth and development of the banking sector in Nigeria.

The message, issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, commended Balogun’s contribution to the economy of Nigeria as a boardroom guru and employer of labour, especially as the founder of FCMB, among several other companies.

In his sermon, the Diocesan Bishop of Remo Anglican Diocese, Most Reverend Michael Fape, who read from the book of Matthew 13: 24 to 30, said death was a “debt to be paid by everyone.”

Fape, while noting that wealth was not a hindrance to making heaven, urged rich men and women to learn to serve God, saying that their lives did not belong to them but to God Almighty.

Explaining that the late founder of the FCMB was highly placed and humble, Fape said he was a friend of the church, adding that he was committed to the Christian faith and had impacted his generation positively.

The remains of the billionaire businessman were committed to mother earth in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State on Saturday, amid tears.

The funeral service was also attended by a former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Nations, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; industrialists, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola; the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Monetary Policy, Mr Wale Edun; former Governors Gbenga Daniel and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and the President of the African Development Bank, Mr Akinwunmi Adesina, among others.

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Author: Maxwell Dudu

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