President Bola Tinubu has described the Founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), late Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun, as an institution in the Nigerian banking sector and a model for generations of bankers and lawyers, among other professionals.
The President, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, made the remarks Saturday at the funeral service for late Otunba Balogun at Cathedral Church of Our Saviour in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
President Tinubu, according to a release issued by Director of Information in the office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola, described the late FCMB founder as a banking icon “who was everything our ailing world desired.”
Speaking further about the deceased virtues and impact, the President said the late Otunba Balogun was “a philanthropist extraordinaire and departing from this world at age 89 is a gift that only a few have benefited from.”
According to him, “he not only immortalized your industrious spirit as the founder of the flourishing First City Merchant Bank, which we all know as FCMB, but the world is going to remain grateful to him even much longer than he lived.
“We are here to celebrate life. As he peacefully departs from this earthly realm at the remarkable age of 89, we lift our voices in prayer, offering our heartfelt appreciation for the profound impact he made during his time among us.
“So, this is more of a gratitude to the Almighty God for bringing such a noble person to our world and changing the course of our history.”
The President then condoled with the Balogun family, government and people of Ogun State and offered prayers for the departed elderstateman.
He said “our dear people of Ijebuland and the Ijebu Christians, must be grateful for the personality you have raised for the nation and the world, in fact.
“In this moment of farewell, we ask for your divine comfort and solace to embrace the loved ones and friends of Otunba Balogun. May they find strength in the shared memories, and may their hearts be filled with gratitude for the privilege of knowing and being touched by such an extraordinary individual.
“May Otunba find eternal rest in your heavenly abode, and may his legacy continue to inspire generations to come.”
In his remarks, the Governor of Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun said late Michael Balogun was a prodigious intellectual, an economist and lawyer who attended the Igbobi Collage, Yaba, Lagos before proceeding to London School of Economist to read law in 1956.
He said late Balogun worked in the banking sector first, as the Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) and held many positions in the sector before he founded the First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
The Governor also said, “in 1989 Late Michael Balogun donated the newly built and fully equipped General Hospital to Ijebu Ode.”
The funeral was attended by so many dignitaries including former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon; Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo Olu; former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Gbenga Daniel, and former Governor of Bayelsa State, SenatorSeriake Dickson.
Others were Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Philantropist, Mr Femi Otedola; President, African Development Bank, Dr Femi Adesina; first class traditional Rulers and Bishops of the Ijebu Anglican Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, among others.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja