Late Sen Robert Koleoso: A Colossus Departs. By Adewuyi Adegbite

Senator Chief Dr. Robert Bonuola Koleosho, politician, transporter, oil magnate, farmer, community leader and good Christian exited at exactly 1 pm at UCH, Ibadan yesterday, April 9, 2020.

The Shaki Chief has been battling with an undisclosed ailment for about a year until he gave up the ghost yesterday. Chief Koleso was a staff of the then Baptist Hospital, Ogbomoso now Bowen Teaching Hospital.

He came to Ogbomoso to assume future at the hospital in December 1953. Which means he spent 67 years in Ogbomoso. Chief Koleosho retired from BMC and become a transporter with a fleet of trailers and singles. His transport company name is RBK LTD. He maintained the bussiness till death.

He was also into into oil marketing and distribution. He was a dealer with Total Nigeria with filling stations in Ilorin, Shaki and Iseyin etc.

Chief Koleosho venture into politics during the Babangida regime transition to civil rule program. He belongs to Social Democratic party . He contested the primary election of the SDP with the juggernauts like Chief Dosu Ladipo, Chief Isiaka Adeleke, Chief Kolapo Ishola, among others in the old Oyo state in 1990. With the creation of Osun state in 1991, the contest in Oyo was between Chiefs Kolapo Ishola and RB Koleosho and others.

The primary election ended up as a stalmate because no winner emerged. It ended up in a run off where Koleosho gave Ishola and Ibadan stalwarts including Chief Lamido Adedibu, Chief Rashifi Ladojo, Chief Dejo Raimi a run for their money. He matched them money for money, men for men and power for power. He could have won the contest but having gotten rid of their nemesis, Osun people that includes ijesha and Ife who make life difficult for Ibadan political, and Bola Ige of blessed memory having chatised them of lacking competent hands to be governor of Oyo state Ibadan puts all into the contest and edged Kolesho out in a grand conspiracy. He was defeated narrowly. Ishola went on to defeat Seriki Yekeen Adeojo in the gubernatorial election in 1991. Nonetheless, Koleosho was able to prove a point that with proper planning and and logistics Ibadan can be given a bad nose politically . Since then no politician after him has performed the feat, the other person is Otunba Alao Akala but in different context.

He was compensated by Ishola government as the chairman of a board of parastatal then. Also, at the inception of the fourth republic, he aligned with the PDP under whose banner he contested for senatorial seat of Oyo north and won against Chief Bayo Lawal from Kishi. Chief Koleosho was one of the few elders in the Senate of 2003 – 2007 which the junior ones ran to for advice and direction. This was corroborated by the former majority leader in the sentence, Teslim Folarin.

Koleosho was a devout Christian of Baptist denomination. He worshiped at First Baptist Church, Shaki and Orioke Baptist Church Taraa Ogbomoso which he joined in 1953. He was a member of the board of trustees at Ori-Oke and a pillar of support for her.

He contributed financially and morally to the upliftment of the church of God. He occupied virtually all positions in the church save pastor and deacon. He was mourned by the church despite the inability to gather due to the menacing corona virus. In his last days he had a cashew farm at Shaki including a cattle ranch also in Shaki. In spite of being in Ogbomoso for most part of his years, he and his junior brother, Chief Michael Koleosho, the babalaje of Shaki, a former commissioner, a former SSG and a national political figure dominated economic life of the town.

He was a community leader in Ogbomoso and Shaki whose advice was sought on knoty issues in the towns. As a socialite he belongs to many social clubs which include Club 11 of Ogbomoso now defunct but had as members cream of Ogbomoso bussiness men and captains of industries and transport owners.

Koleosho later in life went into banking and established Ajewole community Bank at Oke Ado, Ogbomoso. The bank is one of the leading micro finance banks in Oyo state.

As mentioned earlier, he was down with an ailment few months ago and hospitalised at Abuja, Ogbomoso and eventually, UCH Ibadan where he gave up the ghost. Chief R B Koleosho was a family man and survived by wife and children including professors, bankers among others. He did his bit in all area of human lives that he found himself. Tongues have been wagging by different characters since the announcement of his demise on the characters of the high Chief. What I can say is that he is a disciplinarian, hard worker and did not joke with his work, he abhored laziness, cheating, robbing and never threw his money around the reason why some beggars said that he was stingy! He preffered to teach one how to fish than to give one a fish. Conclusively, Koleosho lives, he will be missed and will be remembered.

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