Alhaji Raheem Kalilu: A rich heritage

Alhaji Raheem Kalilu: A rich heritage


The love and the affection that the Ogbomoso people have for their town connects the world just as the Atlantic Ocean connects diverse countries. It is a naked truth that, Ogbomoso is blessed with countless resourceful sons and daughters that have contributed to the growth and development of thier town. Impressively, Ogbomoso people have the culture of paying back those who helped their town. It is an age-long practice and tradition – honouring or compensating accordingly those indigenes that had made Ogbomoso proud in one way or the other. Examples of such cases abound.


Let’s trip down memory lane, in 1999, Hon. Segun Adebayo Alata was massively voted for to represent Ogbomoso North state constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly. The people spoke with one voice with their vote irrespective of political parties. That was made possible as a result of his father late Chief Adebayo Alata’s good deeds in Ogbomoso.

Equally, late Adebayo Alao-Akala, the former executive governor of Oyo state whose father died in an auto-accident near Iroko-Ibadan while returning from an errand for his Ogbomoso Parapo Ghana Branch (former Gold Coast) enjoyed the support of Ogbomoso people when he ventured into politics.

Also, Ambassador Yomi Akintola rode on the achievements and good name of his father, Chief S.L. Akintola in his political career. Interestingly, the tradition of Ogbomoso people compensating the children of their heroes and heroines by supporting them whenever they standup to answer people’s call i.e. serving their beloved town (Ogbomoso) has therefore persisted. That is why slogans like ‘Omo Oloore’, ‘Oju Oloore’, ‘Bibi’re’, ‘Omo Leader’ etc are commonly used to qualify candidates’ names during elections period in Ogbomoso.

Alhaji Raheem Kalilu of the popular Alagbędę Biayin Compound in Ijeru quarter of Ogbomoso was one of the elder statesmen in Ogbomoso. He was one of the political leaders and brilliant politicians. There is no doubt, Alhaji Raheem Kalilu had contributed his own quota to the growth and development of his dear town, Ogbomoso. He was a staunch member of the Action Group (AG) in which he served as the party PRO for many years. Infact, he was one of the disciples of Chief S. L. Akintola. Alhaji Raheem pitched tent with SLA throughout the late Premier’s life and he never defected from Akintola camp; he was a committed and loyal member of the group. He moved with Akintola from the Action Group (AG) to the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) which was in alliance with the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), the party that controlled the Federal Government of Nigeria. It was in that political dispensation that many developmental projects were brought to Ogbomoso. Such as pipe-borne water, electricity (commissioned on March 3rd, 1961 by Chief S. L Akintola), construction of road networks, farm settlement (established in 1957) now in the present Owolake, “Redio”- Rediffusion at Okelerin, Town Planning Authority (established in 1960), and General Hospital commissioned in December 1959 by Mr. (later Chief) J. O. Adigun and establishment of numbers of dispensaries in many areas such as Ajaawa, Ajase, Maami-Iware, Iwofin, Otamokun, Iresa-Adu, Gbede, and Oko. Some other achievements in Western Region under Akintola include establishment of Premier Tobacco to break the monopoly of the Nigeria Tobacco Company, Telephone (V. H. F) brought to Ogbomoso in 1958, Nigeria Police (Olopa Eko) station in Ogbomoso was commissioned under Inspector Ogunkoya, Agbon-Mogbę Bank at Takie Square (now defunct), National Bank at Takie Square (now defunct), Magistrate Court (Kotu Ijoba) commissioned by Senior Magistrate T. S. Gomez, Ogbomoso Grammar School (established in April 1952), Ogbomoso Girls’ High School (founded in 1959), Blind Craft Centre, Weaving Centre (Ile-Ise Aso hihun), Ogbomoso Town Hall was built by the Chairman of Ogbomoso Council with the financial support from Western Region Government. The hall waa commissioned in April 1963 by Chief S. L Akintola, among the dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony were Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe, the Governor-General. Also, mini town-halls were built in Iresa, Ajaawa, Jabata, and Oko.


Remarkably, in the Second Republic politics, Alhaji Raheem Kalilu was a force to be reckoned with in Ogbomoso Central 1 Constituency (now Ijeru Wards 1&2 of Oyo state) under the umbrella of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN). For those who may not know, Alhaji Kalilu, as noted remained an Akintola follower to the core. He was one of the closest persons to SLA as the late Premier was called, he was a trusted and reliable follower. Infact, he was part of Akintola’s tink-tank. Alhaji Raheem Kalilu’s closeness to some bigwig politicians in Ogbomoso aside Akintola further enhanced his political life, some who are. Mr. (later Chief Hon.) J. Ola Adigun (AG), Mr. (later Chief Hon.) S. O. Ogundipe (AG), Mr. (later Chief) N. A. Adibi (AG), Mr. (later Hon. Chief) Samuel A. Magbagbeola (AG and NPN Honourable in old Oyo State House of Assembly), Mr. Ade A. Fabunmi (AG Secretary in Ogbomoso), Mr. (later Chief) J. K Atanda AG Chairman in Ogbomoso), Mr. J. Ola Ajao (AG), Mr. (later Chief) E. O Godwin (AG), Mr. (later Chief) Agboola Akande Are-Egbe (AG), Mr. (later Alhaji Amuda Babarinde (AG), Mr. (later Hon.) E. O. Oke popularly known as Oke-Mountain (AG), Mr. Anifaloba, Mr. (later Mogaji) Oyebamiji Olorode (AG), Mr. (later Dr.) C. L. Adeoye (AG), Mr. (later Lawyer) David Oyewo (AG) etc. Others in N. C. N. C opposition party include Chief V. L Lajide (who was later appointed as one of the Federal Ministers), Pa. S. B. Laniyi, Mr. Ojo Alokomaro and many more which time and space will fail me to mention.

As a true community leader, Alhaji Raheem Kalilu’s impact in the growth and development of Ijeru community through the activities of the socio-cultural group he belonged to (Ęgbę Itęsiwaju Omo Ijęru) is in the good book of Ijeru people. The group comprises prominent Ijeru descendants. Among them are Mr. Ade Fabunmi, Mogaji Oyebamiji Olorode, Alhaji Amuda Babarinde, among others. In addition, Alhaji Raheem Kalilu was a functional member of Ogbomoso Parapo, the socio-cultural group that unite all Ogbomoso sons and daughters at home and in the diaspora. In his hey day, it was so rare that Alhaji Kalilu would not attend Parapo meetings and he would contribute meaningfully in the meetings.

Aside from the socio-political engagements, Alhaji Raheem Kalilu operated a well equipped medicine shop at Ijeru. Infact, that shop was a blessing to the community because people found it as an alternative to a clinic by the standard of the time; because of its operational prescription of drugs for headache, body pain, treatment of wounds and other minor illnesses. It is on record that the community benefited from that gesture. Because people received medical treatments at their doorsteps.

Alhaji Kalilu also worked as a clerk in the Premier Tobacco Office in Ogbomoso. Infact! That is an eloquent proof that, Alhaji Raheem Kalilu was a worthy son of Ogbomoso, blessed with mountainous gifts and uncommon attributes of intelligence, diligence, hard work and loyalty to his hometown-Ogbomoso. Obviously, he was a typical Ogbomoso man who did not forget his roots.


The current Acting Vice-Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Professor Razaq Olatunde Rom Kalilu is the biological son of late Alhaji Raheem Kalilu. He needs the support of the people of Ogbomoso and Oyo State in general to become substantive LAUTECH VC. Without any doubt, Professor R. O. Kalilu is a good candidate for LAUTECH’s Vice-Chancellorship seat. He doesn’t need much advertisement because his intimidating and rich CV has already spoken volumes. But, these are not enough in the face of any appointment in Nigerian murky waters of politics. Honestly, if the appointment should follow merit, Kalilu will face no challenge by all standards. He has all the prerequisites. I want to make it so clear and not in jargons or vocabularies that, less than a year he has been paddling the affairs of LAUTECH in acting capacity he has lived up to expectations. His performance thus far is excellent. Though, that statement sounds paradoxical. Yet, it is not far from the gospel truth.

On religion however, contrary to some people’s views. Prof. Razaq Kalilu is not a religious fanatic, that is grossly erroneous. He is a Muslim by birth, his grandfather, Alfal Kalilu was a popular Islamic scholar who practiced his faith with religious tolerance. This is even evidenced in Prof. Kalilu’s lifestyle; most of his friends are Christians; even his only and beloved wife is a practicing and devoted Christian.

I therefore call on the people of Ogbomoso at home and in the diaspora to drum support for Professor Rom Kalilu’s LAUTECH Vice-Chancellorship race. Like that popular Yoruba adage, “omo ęni kiise idi bębęrę kafi ilękę si idi omo elomiran” literally means, whatever the situation, one’s child is one’s child. And we should give the child our maximum support. Thank God, we are all students of History. We should know that, for good thirty-four years of LAUTECH existence, no Ogbomoso indigene has been appointed the Vice-Chancellor of this high ranking state university except the recent appointment of Prof. Kalilu as Ag. VC. The popular Yoruba saying, “Omo Oloore la se loore”, to put it in clear terms, ‘the child of the benefactor should be treated accordingly’. So, in that context, Prof. Rom Kalilu is Omo Oloore (the son of benefactor). That is why he deserves our maximum support. Because, the pendulum is already swinging and the scale is dangling. If Ogbomoso misses the opportunity (God forbids), It will ‘add pepper to our sore’. And it would forever be a wounded sore that seems to be no cure or remedy.

In a nutshell, whenever a righteous man is enthroned in a kingdom, not only will the people enjoy a blissful time of peace, prosperity and long life, even the elements will be so kind that the plant and fauna will bring forth produce as expected. This simple analogy is exactly the case of the people of Oyo State and Ogbomoso in particular since the appointment of Professor Rom Kalilu as the LAUTECH’s Acting Vice Chancellor. That is a clear demonstration of good and impactful leadership. Consequently, without iota of doubt and going by his track record, Prof. Kalilu stands tall among the contestants. He should be allowed to paddle the affairs of LAUTECH in substantive capacity. And this is the time for an Ogbomoso person to be appointed and Prof. Kalilu is the right candidate so that at his death when he is old, he would not be described as the best VC LAUTECH never had. I therefore appeal to the citizens of Oyo State in general to mount every podium, knock on every door, step on every ground and speak with one voice, for the actualization of Professor Razaq Olatunde Rom Kalilu as substantive LAUTECH VC.

Ogunkuade, a historian and public affairs analyst sends this piece via


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