The late founder of the First City Monument Bank, Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, has received tributes from President Bola Tinubu, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon (ret. ), Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), among others.
Balogun passed away on May 18, 2023 in a hospital in London after a brief illness. Prior to his death, he was the Otunba Tunwase of Ijebuland and the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians. He was 89.
In a statement announcing his passing, the banking tycoon’s family stated that a register for condolences would be opened starting on May 22 at his homes in Lagos and Ijebu-Ode as well as six other locations.
Dignitaries gathered in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Balogun’s hometown, to pay tribute to the late Olori Omo Oba of Ijebuland.
At the funeral held on Saturday, Shettima, who represented the President, referred to the late Otunba as “an institution in the Nigerian banking sector and a model for generations of bankers.”
Shettima acknowledged the contributions of Balogun during his speech at the funeral held at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, and expressed how much he would be missed.
He acknowledged the contributions made by Ijebu sons and daughters to the overall development of the nation, saying, “You, our dear people of Ijebuland, must be grateful for the personality you have raised for the nation and the world.”
“We give thanks to Almighty God for bringing Otunba Subomi Balogun into the world,” he continued. The world will remember him (Balogun) for a long time after he has passed away. We are here to celebrate life, therefore.
“He is a remarkable person who altered the course of history. May future generations be inspired by his legacy. We ask God to give the family the strength to endure the irreparable loss.
Governor Abiodun stated in his remarks that the late Balogun was “a role model, an intellectual, and quintessential human being.”
Abiodun added that “the righteous will be separated from the wicked on the judgement day.” He also mentioned his contributions to the banking industry, Ijebuland, and the church.
Abiodun said the late founder of FCMB was a proud son of Ijebuland and Ogun State during the funeral service, calling him a “colossus of our time.”
In his condolence message on Saturday, Sanwo-Olu referred to the late Balogun as a well-known technocrat, seasoned administrator, and philanthropist who left his mark on the nation by helping to expand and develop Nigeria’s banking industry.
The message, which was released by the governor’s chief press secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, praised Balogun for his contributions to the Nigerian economy as a boardroom guru and an employer of labor, particularly as the founder of FCMB and several other businesses.
In his sermon, the Diocesan Bishop of the Remo Anglican Diocese, Most Reverend Michael Fape, quoted from Matthew 13:24–30 and stated that death was a “debt to be paid by everyone.”
Fape urged rich men and women to learn to serve God, saying that while wealth was not a barrier to making heaven, it did not belong to them; rather, it belonged to God Almighty.
Fape said the late founder of the FCMB was a friend of the church and described him as highly respected and humble. He also said that he was devoted to the Christian faith and had made a positive impact on his generation.
In Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, on Saturday, the billionaire businessman’s remains were laid to rest amid tears.
Chief Emeka Anyaoku, a former secretary-general of the Commonwealth of Nations, businessmen Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola, Mr. Wale Edun, a special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on monetary policy, former governors Gbenga Daniel and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), and Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina, among others, all attended the funeral service.