Alli Balogun

Alli Balogun was a Lagos politician and merchant in the 19th Century born in 1830 as Alli Makanjuola. Like his father, he was a slave dealer but he assumed a legal trade as supplier of local needs to European merchants upon the abolition of slavery in 1852. In his thirtieth year he had become rich enough to join the Egbe Olowo, meaning, “club of the rich”, in Lagos. His insistence on the primacy of the colonial government however diminished the respect he enjoyed among the people. Alli’s activities as a leader of the People’s Union placed him directly against the now renown nationalist, Herbert Macaulay. The political tide however changed in his favor with the installation of Ibikunle Akitoye as Oba of Lagos in 1925, and he was turbaned as an important Moslem chief of the town. Alli Balogun lived up to a hundred years.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer