R-L: Prof. Balogun, Alhaji Jimada (standing), Unilorin VC Prof. Abdulkareem, Dr Rahman Adebisi AMKAD and others during the event
It was a moment of joy, celebration and full of praises on Sunday (January 5, 2020) as Professor Rabiu Olayinka Balogun of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Ilorin, brought families, friends, admirers and wellwishers together in his residence, Lao, Gbagba area, off Airport Road, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, to rejoice with him and thank God for the outstanding success he has been able to record in life.
The thanksgiving prayer had in attendance the ‘creme de la creme’ in the society who came from different parts of the country and beyond to celebrate with the proprietor and Medical Director of an Ilorin-based popular ‘Balogun Hospital’, Professor Rabiu Balogun.
Among the personalities and Professor Balogun’s childhood friends who added glitz and glamour to the event with their presense included the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem and his wife; the former Chief Medical Director of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Professor Sulyman Kuranga; Alhaji Jimada; Dr Toyin Agbabiaka of the University of Ilorin; and Professor Abdulrazaq Oniye.
Others were the Magaji Erubu of Ilorin, Dr Zubair Erubu; a Lagos-based renowned Medical Practitioner, Dr Rahman, Attorney General of kwara state, Barrister Salman Jawondo; the General Manager of Kwara state Roads Maintenance Agency (KWARMA), Engr. Baba Jibril; Professor Aisha Balogun; among others.
The Chief Imam of Ansar-Ud-Deen Central Mosque, Ilorin branch, Sheikh Muhammad Safi Gbagba led the prayer session in company of the array of notable Islamic clerics in Ilorin.
They all extolled the virtues of Professor Balogun, describing him as a brilliant, generous, kind-hearted, God fearing, hardworking, and a complete gentleman, He was generally decsribed as a man of refreshing candour who has added great value to the medical profession through his much felt community services.
In his comment at the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor S. A. Abdulkareem decribed Professor Balogun as a thoroughbred medical doctor with exemplary characters.
The Vice Chancellor said he had known professor Balogun for over 50 years when both were students of Government Day Secondary (GSS) Ilorin and described him as an amiable and skillful man who loves and cares about everyone that comes his way.
“I’m happy to rejoice with him, he is a close friend of over 50 years” the Vice Chancellor remarked.
In his comment, the former Chief Medical Director of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Professor Sulyman Alege Kuranga described Professor Balogun as a brilliant and hardworking man with lofty ideas, and thanked God for giving him the opportunity to record resounding success in life.
“He is an amiable man, hardworking and very caring. What we are seeing today is a manifestation of his hardworking. We have to thank his parents whose handiwork is this. This is very important occasion because he needs to thank God for professorial status and also the children that have also graduated which is very uncommon for people to attain this success in life. He really appreciates God and he should continue to appreciate God” Professor Kuranga said.
Also showering encomiums on Professor Balogun, a medical doctor turned traditional title holder, the Magaji Erubu of Ilorin, Dr Zubair Erubu described Professor Balogun as an exemplary man worthy of emulation and thanked God for his parents for producing an amazing person like him who has now brought fame to the family.
A Lagos-based medical practitioner, who is the Medical Director of one the leading private hospitals in Lagos, ‘Amkad Hospital’, Dr Adebisi Rahman said Professor Balogun is loved by the people because he serves the people and he appreciates everybody around him.
Dr Rahman who is also a close friend of Professor Balogun thanked people for taking their precious time to celebrate with them on that auspicious occasion.
The Kwara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Salman Jawondo who was also in attendance described Professor Balogun as a complete gentleman, a man of peace and a man one will be pleased to be associated with.
In his own remarks, the General Manager, Kwara State Roads Maintenance Agency (KWARMA),
Engr. Baba Jubril, said he had known Professor Balogun since early 70s as student of GSS Ilorin, saying that he is a perfect gentleman.
” I have known him since early ’70s when we were in GSS Ilorin, he was two years my senior. Since I know him, he has been a very good man, fortunately again, both of us lived in the family house, Gegele area, Ilorin. He is a personal friend. I want people to copy his simplicity, humbleness and fear of Allah. He does not look down on anybody, you can see where Allah has taken him to now, that is the reward for his humane character” Engr Jibril noted.
In her comment, the wife of Professor Balogun, Dr (Mrs) Zainab Balo Balogun who was visibly happy on the occasion thanked God for His love to her family and prayed God to reward everyone that came from far and near to celebrate with Balogun family.
Dr Balogun described her husband as a very caring, loving and considerate man who derives pleasure in helping others.
“I feel proud, honoured, and elated. The large turnout shows that my husband has a meaning in the lives of people. He loves people and he cares about people a lot to the extent that some even take advantage of him” she said.
Dr Tomiwa Balogun, a second child of the family was full of praises to God and described his father as most lovely, amiable, empathic, patient and generous man.
Dr Tomiwa Balogun added “he is the most liberal, understanding, and hardworking man I have ever met in my life”. He pointed out that people might not know all these qualitaties he possesses untill they move close to him.
In his comment, Professor Balogun said the prayer was organised to thank God for the journey so far and to appreciate Him for His favour upon him and his entire family over the years.
“I feel very elated, I feel honoured. I’m just thanking God for the journey so far and the prayer was organised to bring people together and to appreciate God for His love.”
Speaking about his contributions to the society, Professor Rabiu Balogun disclosed that Balogun Hospital is one of his little contributions to the society, adding that it was established to serve the community and is still serving the community.
” I thank God for everything He has done in my life. My success in life is premised on His mercy and hardwork” he added.
Also added pomp and pageantry to the occasion was the presence of GSS Ilorin Old boys, led by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulkareem, who converged in large numbers to celebrate with their colleague, Balogun. Professor Balogun is of 1975 set but the occasion featured his set, Junior and even those that are his seniors in GSS.
The event also provided another ample opportunity for the old boys of GSS Ilorin to meet again after long time of departure. The old boys who are now grandfathers were seeing exchanging pleasantries shortly after the prayer session followed by handshakings, hugs, back slapping and other related forms of greetings.
Foods and drinks were served liberally as everybody ate satisfactorily as large as the number of the attendees was.