BALOGUN Kolawole Joseph






Chief (Dr.) Kolawole Balogun was a Nigerian Lawyer and a founding member of the Zikist Movement in the 1940s.

Born on April 11, 1922, Kolawole Joseph Balogun began his elementary education at St. Paul's Catholic School Ebute-Metta Lagos; St. Saviours Anglican School Agege, Lagos; St. Patrick's Catholic School Zaria; and St. Augustine's Catholic School Ibadan before entering Government College Ibadan (G.C.I) in 1940.

His classmates at St. Patrick's, Zaria included Paul Amenechi (former Principal of St. Gregory's College Lagos), Austen Chibututu and Rosaline Benedict (later Mrs. Balogun).

At Government College Ibadan, he was bred in Swanston House and belonged to the 1940 Set, alongside the late Akingba J.B. (Head of Swanston House, and Head of School; 1945) who later became a Professor of Medicine at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), J.B.O. Ojo (later Chief Ojo) who later became the Principal of Government College Ibadan (1968 - 1974), as well as the late renowned Dr Ogunlusi.

While in G.C.I, his father found it difficult to pay his school fees. Conscious of these financial constraints and the enormous strain on his family he began to explore the possibility of sitting for School Certificate at the end of class four instead of class six. He soon ordered the syllabus for the Cambridge School Certificate and started working on his own. He continued his studies privately and after being advised by his private tutors, he decided to sit for the London Matriculation in June 1944 He entered for five subjects English, English literature, Biology, Mathematics and History and passed all five with in flying colours.

In the summer of 1943, he decided to leave G.C.I. without any qualification after securing his first job with the United African Company (UAC). One of his colleagues at U.A.C was the late Justice S.O. Lambo, first President of the Federal Revenue (now High) Court.

He attended Unversity College, London as an external student. He was called to the Bar (Lincoln's Inn) in 1951.

He was a former Federal Minister of Information in the civilian regime, Chairman, Sketch Group of Newspapers, Secretary London branch of NCNC, 1951; appointed National Secretary of the NCNC party, 1951 - 1958. He was also an elected member of the Western House of Assembly, 1953 - 1954; and one of the House of Representatives member, 1954 -58. He was also the First President of the Nigeria Arts Council 1958 -70.

Among other appointments, he served as the Editor of the defunct West African Pilot newspaper, Federal Minister of Labour and Welfare (1955), Federal Minister of Information and Research (1956-58) and Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana (1959-61) and was the first Chairman of the Nigerian National Shipping Lines (NNSL) (1962 - 1965), Commissioner for Economic Planning and Social Development in former Western Nigeria (1967), Commissioner for Education (1968 -1970), Chairman, Sketch Group Newspaper, (1971).

Worthy of note in his lifetime was that he led the movement for the creation of Osun State from beginning to its creation in 1991.

Chief (Dr) Kola Balogun was one of Nigeria's most charismatic politicians of the fifties and sixties. Although an NCNC (National Council of Nigerian Citizens) loyalist and a political son of the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kola Balogun was nevertheless seen and regarded as a progressive politician throughout his career who commanded the respect of other political founding fathers such as the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello (the Sadauna of Sokoto) and the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the First Republic Prime Minister under whom he served.

Chief Kola Balogun was one of the very first from Osun State, he died on Monday, December 23rd 2002 at age 80.

His book "Mission to Ghana: Memoir of a Diplomat" was published by Vantage Press, January 1, 1963…/…/feb/11/article28.html…/reminiscences-on-the-politics-of-…/
The Nigerian Nostalgia Project - Government College Ibadan


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