If only encomiums, eulogies and tributes could wake up the dead, late Tafa Balogun, a former Inspector-general of Police, IGP, who passed on penultimate week, would have resurrected to walk taller and posits in reality what was said about him yesterday, in Lagos.
At the 8th day firdau held for him at Wilmot Point Hall, Victoria Island, speaker after speaker lend their voices in renditions for Balogun’s humane character, actions, intelligence, impacts and achievements.
The IGP, Mr Alkali Usman Baba, ably represented by the Deputy Inspector-general of Police, DIG, in charge of Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Mr Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, described Balogun as an impeccable characters, a man of Solomon’s wisdom who took the force not only to the next level, but to a higher level. He said the vacuum created by the departure of Balogun from this world would be difficult to replace because he was a fine cop, who, with all equanimity, seized Criminals by the throat. He cited how Hammadig Tijani, an armed robber who unleashed terror on some West African countries such Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana, was nabbed in Nigeria during Balogun’s reign as IGP.
Baba said his former boss died when the nation is in dire need of men like him in our security challenges . He prayed to Allah to console, not only the family he left behind, but the people of Illa-Oragun in Osun state, the force and the entire people of Nigeria.
A Muslim Cleric , Sheikh Abdulraman Ahmad, while eulogizing Balogun, admonished Nigerians to leave behind legacies that are impactful to lives before they leave this world, positing that that was what Baolgun stood for .
” Balogun’s pysique was intimidating. But when you get close to him, you get a clear picture of a humble man, an intelligent officer and above all, one willing to help others no matter tribe or religion. He had a listening ear; quick to respond to people’s requests”.
The Cleric seized the occasion to called on Nigerians to render services to their fellow human beings and the nation than acquiring wealth, certificates and houses because the world is vanity. ” Nothing in this world is ours. Houses, wealth, the big money in one’s account, certificates and children are ephimeral because no one has ever lived with all this things forever’.
Ahmad asked the people of Illa-Oragun to continue with the developmental projects Balogun embarked on while alive so as to let others emulate his good deeds. Thanking Allah for Balogun’s life and times, Sheikh Ahmad said several persons across the country felt the impacts and magnanimity of Balogun.
Also speaking, Mr Edward Ajogun, the immediate past commissioner of police for Ogun state, and at a time Balogun’s personal assistant, disclosed that his former boss capability to select a vibrant and good team without tribal sentiments, made him a quintessential Nigerian. He revealed that majority of the officers Balogun choosed to work directly with him while in office as IGP were officers from other tribes. Such officers, he said included Dr Solomon Arase, Late Chris Olaope and one other Edward who was CSO to Balogun.
Ajogun is of the opinion that operationally, Intelligence, descending on notorious criminals and good welfare package for men and women of the force, Balogun has no equal or rival.
In the same vein, a former commissioner of police for FCT, Mr Lawrence Alobi said a good number of officers drank from Balogun’s fountain of knowledge. He praised God for giving Nigeria Balogun.
In his tribute, one-time Oyo and Imo states police boss, Mr Baba Adisa Bolanta, described Balogun’s popularity amongst police officers be they serving or retired as unparalleled.This, he said was the good welfare package Balogun dished out when he was in charge.
At the 8th day firdau, two formers IGPs, Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Atta and Alhali Musuliu A. K Smith were present. Also, retired DIG Kazeem and AIGs, Mr Tunji Alapini, Bala Hassan, too. Not left out, retired CPs Sam Okaula Bolaji Salami.
Lagos State CP , Abiodun Sylvester Alabi led his officers such as DCPs Adegoke Fayode, Isah Grema and ACP Odubona on standby.
By Ebinum Samuel
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