Chief Agboola Alausa, a renown industrialist, influential politician and a quiet philanthropist is the Balogun of Ijebuland. As he rolls out the drums for his 80th birthday celebration on Sunday, June 14, 2020, he shares his with Gateway Times Publisher, Dayo Rufai, some of his memorable moments in the past years.
It’s A Big Deal to Be 80
I feel honoured and grateful to Almighty Allah, the creator of heaven and earth to be where I am today. It is no small means to clock 80 years of age. This is because, it is not that I am better off than those who left the world in their prime, but God has a purpose for everything in life. I am encouraged in the fact that God loves me dearly, therefore, in His wisdom, He grants me the grace to be where I am today. Once again, I am happy and grateful to Almighty Allah.
I am a very hardworking person, right from my childhood days. And I can tell you for free, that I have been outstanding in whatever I lay my hands on. I studied Estate Management in the United Kingdom, came back to work in the then Ministry of Housing, where I rose to become a Senior Estate Surveyor. My outstanding nature and experience on the job earned me so many top projects during my early business life. A job I was awarded at the University Teaching Hospital, Ile Ife, where I was paid N55,000 was the turning point in my life. From this saving, I started my personal business and became a factor around. I became a general contractor at the Ministry of Defence, Universty of Akure now known as Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Akure. The former President Babangida was the person who even came to commission the project I did in Akure, and I was very elated. It was a very interesting time, where I would have to wake up in Ibadan, then spend the rest of the days in Lagos. I had to travel far and wide, as I also got so many jobs in Abuja during those times as well.
Politics has been part of me right from my youthful days. And I have actively played my part to the best of my knowledge and in total consideration of the grassroots people. Undoubtedly, I have been part of the Peoples Democratic Party since its formation days with Sen Jubril Martins Kuye and some few others. I have not left the party since then. Let me also clarify here that I have been actively involved in politics since the Chief Olusegun Osoba days, right to the OGD’s administration to the present moment of Prince Dapo Abiodun. I am kind of a leader who has a large followership in the state till tomorrow. And this is simply because, I always carry my people along on any topical issues. I can confidently beat my chest and say I have done well politically.
My Family and Sojourn Abroad
I first travelled out of the country in 1962, and my first wife later joined me in 1965. It was another interesting experience beyond the shores of my fatherland. I had to also leave London for Liverpool for another educational qualification. I spent three years here as I was also engaged in summer jobs. It was during this period that people from Western Region came to London in 1971 to interview some of us on possible employment opportunities. It was while in London I had my first child, Dr Adeola Ogunbadero. I returned to Nigeria later and my wife also came back to join me some years after. I had two set of twins. So, as I was getting old, I married a second wife.
Life as Balogun of Ijebuland
I thank God for my life. I actually started my sojourn in this lineage first as Seriki of Ijebuland over 10 years back. I later became the Otun Balogun, and as Almighty Allah would have it, I became the Balogun of Ijebuland after the demise of the late Alhaji Odunuga. I am grateful to God first, and the Awujale of Ijebuland who graciously promoted me to this position. I can tell you that things have changed for better in Ijebuland. We have been witnessing so many developmental strides especially during the Ojude Oba festival. Our father, Awujale, has been the bedrock of developments in Ijebuland. It is my desire that my tenure will continue to benefit the entire sons and daughters of Ijebuland.
My Wishes at 80
First, Ijebuland must be more prosperous as we pray for more economic development of our towns and villages. And more importantly, I want to sincerely wish our baba, the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, HRM Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, more fruitful years ahead. This apart, I have now assumed the role of supervisor for my children. Yes, they have been successful in their own chosen fields of endevour, but it is time they are monitored closely so they can take over from me when I finally leave the scene. It is my joy seeing them making progress.