the body of former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogunwho died Thursday night, was buried at his residence in Ila-Orangun, Osun state.
Balogun was buried around 2:15 pm on Saturday according to Islamic rites.
The former IGP, who served as Nigeria’s top police chief between 2002 and 2004, died at the age of 74 in a Lagos hospital.
The burial rite was observed by the Chief Imam of Ila-Orangun, Salaudeen AbdulHamid.
Coffin of a former police inspector general, Tafa Balogun, placed on a table inside his residence in Ila-Orangun
Around noon, prayers for his rest were offered at the Ila General Eid prayer site.
The prayer was witnessed by members of his family, close associates and police officers led by Osun State Police Commissioner Olawale Olokode.
Traders at Oja Obi market and Oja bajoko market in Ila-Orangun closed their shops on Saturday to mourn Mr. Balogun.
Apart from the closure of the markets, the inhabitants also closed their shops to mourn one of the outstanding sons of the community.
Closed shops in Oja Obi market, Ila-Orangun
Most people in Ila-Orangun left their homes and businesses to pay their last respects to the former police chief.
PREMIUM TIMES learned that the Olu of Ila-Orangun, Abdulwahab Adedotun, issued a directive to close markets and shops in the community.
Merchants, residents cry
Sulaiman Kolawole, a food vendor at the Oja Obi market, said he cried when the former police chief was buried.
Kolawole said many of the Ila-Orangun Indians were employed in the police force by the late former IGP.
Residents of Ila-Orangun will witness the burial of the former IGP
“He is someone who loves his hometown and its people and we love him too. If it wasn’t for his sacrifice and the help he gave us, our town would not have been so developed,” he said.
“I cried today as they put his remains into the pit. He is a caring person and a very good man. He is always willing to listen to us.
“Many of our children have been enrolled in the police force thanks to your help. Recently, some of our people were also employed in the Nigeria Civil Defense and Security Corps, it was with their involvement that they got those opportunities.”
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A bread vendor at the Oja Obi market who identified herself as Iya Bisi expressed sadness at the passing of the late former Inspector General of Police.
“I wasn’t happy when I heard the news,” he said.
“It was shocking because we never expected such a good man to leave us at this time. He has been a very good man to everyone at Ila and his good deeds will be missed.”
Supporters inside the residence of the former IGP, Tafa Balogun
Adewunmi Wasiu, principal of Nurudeen High School, Ila-Orangun, said he lost concentration when he received the news of the former police chief’s death.
He described Mr. Balogun as “a rare gem in Ila”.
“I was shocked when I heard the news of Tafa Balogun’s death, when I got the news I lost focus on what I was doing. I don’t know what I’m doing again. I am deeply saddened. We have lost a rare jewel on Ila.
“I had the opportunity to meet Alhaji Tafa Balogun while serving as the National Secretary of the Ila National Students Association in 2004. During that time, he employed over a hundred people from Ila in the police force. He is a very good man loved by everyone in this community,” Wasiu said.
Supporters move to the residence of former IGP, Tafa Balogun to witness his funeral
Another Ila-Orangun resident, Abdulganiy Maroof, described the deceased as a “good man.”
“I am really worried about the death of this man. However, I am not indigenous to this town, but I live here and I know what this man has done for the people of it.”