The body of former Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun, who died on Thursday evening, has been laid to rest at his residence in Ila-Orangun, Osun State.
Mr Balogun was buried around 2:15 p.m. on Saturday according to Islamic rites.
The former IGP, who served as Nigeria’s top police chief between 2002 and 2004, died at age 74 in a hospital in Lagos.
The burial rite was observed by the Chief Imam of Ila-Orangun, Salaudeen AbdulHamid.
Around noon, prayers were offered for his repose at the Ila General Eid praying ground.
The prayer was witnessed by his family members, close associates as well as police officers led by Osun State Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode.
Traders at the Oja Obi market and Oja bajoko market in Ila-Orangun, on Saturday locked their shops to mourn Mr Balogun.
Aside from closure of markets, the inhabitants also locked their shops to mourn one of the prominent sons of the community.
Majority of the people in Ila-Orangun left their homes and businesses to pay last respect to the former police chief.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt the Olu of Ila-Orangun, Abdulwahab Adedotun, issued a directive to close markets and shops in the community.
Traders, residents mourn
Sulaiman Kolawole, a foodstuff seller at the Oja Obi market, said he wept when the former police chief was interred.
Mr Kolawole said many of the Ila-Orangun indigenes were employed into the police force by the the late former IGP.
“He is somebody that loves his hometown and his people and we also love him. If not for his sacrifice and help he used to offer to us, our town would not have been this developed,” he said.
“I cried today while they were putting his remains inside the grave. He is a loving person and a very good man. He is always ready to listen to us.
“Many of our children have been enrolled in the police force because of his assistance. Recently, some of our people were also employed into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, it was with his intervention they got those opportunities.”
ALSO READ: OBITUARY: The trial and times of Tafa Balogun, Nigeria’s 21st Inspector General of Police
A bread seller in the Oja Obi market who identified herself as Iya Bisi expressed sadness over the demise of the late former Inspector General of Police.
“I was not happy when I heard the news,” she said.
“It was shocking because we never expected that such a good man will leave us at this time. He has been a very good man to everybody in Ila and we will miss his good works.”
Adewunmi Wasiu, Principal of Nurudeen Grammar School, Ila-Orangun, said he lost focus when he received news of the death of the former police chief.
He described Mr Balogun as “a rare gem in Ila”.
“I was shocked when I heard news of the death of Tafa Balogun, when they brought the news to me, I lost focus on what I was doing. I did not know what I am doing again. I am deeply saddened. We have lost a rare gem in Ila.
“I have been opportuned to meet Alhaji Tafa Balogun while I was serving as the National Secretary of Ila National Students Association in 2004. During that time, he employed more than hundred people from Ila into the police force. He is a very good man loved by everybody in this community,” Mr Wasiu said.
Another resident of Ila-Orangun, Abdulganiy Maroof, described the deceased as a “good man.”
“I am really worried about the death of this man. Though, I am not an indigene of this town but I live here and I know what this man has done for his people.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999