LIKE A THUNDERBOLT: A Tribute to Alhaji AbdulRauf Akogun, late Chief Akogun of Oke-Odeland (1952 – 2024

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By Kunle Akogun

Shocking! That should be the modest description of the sad passing, last Wednesday (January 6th, 2024), of my elder brother, mentor, benefactor, and patriarch of the Akogun chieftaincy family, Alhaji (Chief) AbdulRauf Ayinla Olatunde Akogun, the High Chief Akogun of Oke-Odeland. Like a Thunderbolt, this particular death was both surprising and shocking!

So shell-shocked have I been, these past six days that my writing inspiration refused to recognise the Muse signal, or the literary Muse just refused to send its usual signal for me to connect! The brain suddenly became empty! And words simply failed me. For six odd days!

But shocked or not, the inevitable reality has dawned on us that the 6th Chief Akogun of Oke-Ode has bade this sinful world goodbye, never to be seen again, except for chance metaphysical encounters in the spirit world of apparition or most likely in the dream realm!

Awólà, as your schoolmates and chummy contemporaries fondly called you, you came to this world, you saw a lot, you heroically played your part, weathering many storms, and you made great impacts in all facets of life, positively changing many lives.

You were a loving husband; a doting father; a reliable friend; a dependable confidant; a consumate administrator; an astute political leader; a candid orator; a patriotic community leader; a compassionate philanthropist; and a passionate family man!

Born on 6th September, 1952 to Alhaji Jimoh Arinde Akogun and Alhaja Aminat Aduke Akogun of the valiant Akogun chieftaincy family of Oke-Ode, Booda Awola, as I used to call him, started off in his teeny years as a Quranic pupil under the tutelage of the great Islamic Cleric and erudite Mufasir of Oke-Ode, the late Alhaji Zubair Atobiloye. He also doubled, at the time, as an artisan apprentice, both of which made him to begin formal schooling at a quite advanced age. Indeed, most of his contemporaries were already in senior primary school classes when he was eventually enrolled.

Also, in his formative years, the late Chief Akogun was a maestro of the popular ‘Were’ (Ramadan nightly voluntary wake-up singing groups). In our Oke-Ode community, this nightly singing spree often culminated in an annual Eid-el Fitri eve singing competition, often spiced with trophies to be won! ‘Ayinla Alfaa’, as he was called in those ‘Were’ days, won the coveted trophies for his ‘Idi Apa Were Group’ on several occasions, as a result of his uncommon sonorous voice and unbeatable rendition.

As a ‘mature pupil’, when he eventually got enrolled in ‘Magaranta’, as the community primary school was popularly known at the time, Ayinla Alfaa enjoyed unusual rapid promotions throughout his days at the LEA Community Primary School, Oke-Ode. He enjoyed the goodwill of most of the teachers, including even the renowned no-nonsense Alfaa Alashi.

The late Chief Akogun then proceeded, in 1972, to ECWA Secondary School, Igbaja, for his secondary education, which he completed in 1976. He, thereafter, began a very eventful career in the Kwara State civil service with his appointment as a Co-operative Inspector in 1976.

He was also educated at the then Kwara State College of Technology (now Kwara State Polytechnic), where he got his Cambridge A’ Level certificate that prepared him for admission into the University of Ilorin.

An Economics graduate and chartered accountant, the late Chief Akogun had a fulfilling civil service career, working in several ministries and parastatals, including the Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, wherechexwas Chief Accountant. He retired as the Chief Accountant of the Kwara State House of Assembly in the Year 2002.

On his retirement, the late Chief Akogun made a foray into politics where he had an equally eventful career.

In 2006, the late Elesa of Oke-Ode land invited him to occupy the Akogun chieftaincy stool that became vacant with the demise of his father, the 5th Akogun, Alhaji (Chief) Yusuf Arinde Akogun. As the High Chief Akogun of Oke-Ode land, the late Chief AbdulRauf Ayinla Olatunde Akogun was a member of the ‘Iwarefa’ and he served as the Secretary to the Elesa-in-Council.

Apart from his traditional chieftaincy title of Akogun of Oke-Ode land, Chief Akogun was honoured with several chieftaincy titles by several communities and organisations within and outside Kwara State. These include,
Aaree Akomonimon of Kwara Cooperatives; Gbobaniyi of Ikerin Ekiti, Ekiti state; Aaree Atobatele of Alla, Kwara state; and Baba Adinni Agbojulogun Mosque, Oloje – Ilorin, among others.

The late Chief Akogun was instrumental to the reorganisation of the Oke-Ode Students Union in the ’70s, and he eventually became its President in 1979. He was one time President of Ifelodun Students Association, Kwara State College of Technology, Ilorin; President, Federated Union of Kwara State Students between 1982 and 1983; and President, Oke-Ode Club ’92 (1992-1993).

He is survived by wives, children, grandchildren, and a host of other relations. This paragon of humaneness will be sorely missed by the Oke-Ode community, which he served so meritoriously and selflessly!

Adieu, Ayinla iko onire osin, omo Oba keyemo, akinkanju omo Oke-Ode, oke odede ni’le Maku nunmi loju, omo olode okuta a f’oke die shoogun.
Iwo l’omo Akọgun Boogun boogbe, oo lowo-lowo. Omo onire Osin omo Oba keyemo. Iwo mo l’omo oba akeyemo tohuntemun. Omooba ogunpi, omooba-arapi, omo-oni sokoto o p’osu mefa nile iya alaro; alaro o gbodo-gbo, beeni sokoto won kogbodo sonu. Iwo l’omo-ijan tinmuru dun loke owa, bi osi tonire mi oroko,bi osi tonire, mi o rodo, mo ni biosi tonire mi oni gbowo oko. Omo gbinrin oko ni mo gbo ni mo baa ya l’agbede. Iwo l’omo ashore bi enigo, beeni omo Akogun ko go rara, omo Akogun mo untohunse. Akogun l’omo amesojoye, omo amogbon jaye!

Ayinla, nile momo re, iwo lomo Ojulari lansododo, asehin deni kowopo, sasa eniyan lohun feni leyin ba o ba si nile, t’eru t’omo lohun feni loju eni. Omo bolata awuwon, bola dajude oore a maa sunise!

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