BY OLA AJAYI& DAPO AKINREFON
IBADAN — FORMER Governor of Oyo State, Chief Kolapo Ishola, 77, is dead. He died in the early hours of yesterday.
The ex-governor, who returned from overseas trip recently, was said to have shown signs of discomfort and was being rushed to the University College Hospital, Ibadan when he died.
An impeccable source from the UCH told Vanguard that the politician was brought in dead to the hospital around 8.30am and that his remains had been transferred to the Anatomy Department of the teaching hospital.
Confirming the death of the politician who governed the state between 1991 and 1993, the immediate past Chairman of Akinyele Local Government, Mr. Segun Olayiwola, said the former governor died after reading the Holy Bible.
He said: “Chief Kolapo Ishola died this morning (Tuesday).
At 5a.m, a relation informed him on phone of the death of a friend, Alhaji Agba at Moniya. The late Governor expressed shock over the death. He thereafter demanded for a Bible, read Psalms 101 to 109. Later, he told the family he would want to have some rest at about 6 a.m. It was from the sleep that he started gasping for breath.”
His death came as a shock to many residents in the state including his political associates who thronged his residence to ascertain the veracity of the development.
The former local government chairman said he must have died around 6.30am.
Akala visits family
Among the early callers at his residence, were the immediate past Governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala and his deputy, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja who described the news of his death as shocking.
Also, a former Minister of Power and Steel, Elder Wole Oyelese, said the death of the politician would create a vacuum in the political landscape of the state.
Late Ishola was said to have arrived from a three-week trip to London around 4.30p.m on Monday and reportedly slated appointments with some people for the following day.
Speaking on the death of the politician, the Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, noted that the former governor died at a time when his contributions were most needed in the new Oyo State.
According to Ajimobi, Chief Ishola was a man who promoted politics of peace and development and who left legacies in the state that mark him out as a leader who should be ranked in the pantheon of great men.
He said, “all through his life, no one could identify the late governor with violence or promotion of politics of hatred; qualities that he said were rare among politicians of today.
While reacting to Chief Ishola’s death, former Minister of Transportation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope described the death as a rude shock.
Chief Babatope said “the death of Chief Kolapo Ishola a former civilian Governor of Oyo State has come to me as a great shock. Chief Kolapo Ishola was a politician who loved his country Nigeria fervently and passionately.”
Chief Ishola was an easy going man who never had time to nurse animosity against fellow mortals. He was kind gentle and humble. Deeply religious his Christian banner was without any stain throughout his entire life. He was a member of d PDP Board of Trustees representing Oyo State. He was ever punctual and his contributions were pungent positive and constructive. May Chief Kolapo Ishola’s soul rest in perfect peace.”