…Wailers besiege ex-governor’s Ibadan residence
By Dapo Akinrefon, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Ola Ajayi, Rotimi Ojomoyela, Dirisu Yakubu & Shina Abubakar
FORMER governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi died, yesterday, at the age of 70. Before the latest information filtered in, his alleged death was rumoured about one and half weeks ago which was later dispelled by his media aide, Mr. Bolaji Tunji and one of his children.
Ajimobi, who was born on December 16, 1949, was reported to have been on a life support machine since last Friday at the First Cardiology Hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos.
One of his security men, who served him for eight years, said the death of the APC chieftain was “real this time.”
An impeccable source confided in Vanguard that the news of his death was kept away from the public because of the new appointment by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the APC as acting National Chairman of the party.
The source said: “It is true this time around. It was hidden before because of the political development within the party.”
The source further disclosed that the former governor had lung surgery.
It was further gathered that the medical experts treating him tried all they could to revive him but no success.
Wailers besiege ex-gov’s Ibadan residence
But as news of his death spread, sympathisers and APC members thronged Ajimobi’s Oluyole residence.
Though no one was willing to speak about his death, the environment depicted that something unpleasant had happened.
Sympathizers stood in clusters discussing their experiences with him.
All of them wore forlorn looks with some of the women weeping.
As of the time of filing this report, no family member was willing to speak with newsmen who besieged the Oluyole residence.
Most of the sympathizers did not use face masks neither did they observe any social distancing as required by COVID-19 protocols.
All the gates of the two palatial buildings were locked but there were movements of people inside the compound.
His contributions will always be remembered—Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari, who mourned the late Ajimobi, said his contributions to the development of the state and nation, will always be remembered.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adeshina said: “The President commiserates with the family of the former governor, who served the country as a Senator, 2003, before winning the governorship election in 2011, remaining steadfast and consistent in his progressive views, and working assiduously for the creation of the All Progressives Congress.
“As the party chieftain bows out, President Buhari believes he left the world at a crucial moment when the party and the country needed his counsels to heal and grow, noting that his absence will be sorely felt by all associates, particularly in the APC.”
We’ve lost a star, says Fayemi
In his condolence message, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State described Ajimobi’s death as a personal loss to him and a huge loss to the people of Oyo State.
Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said: “We have lost a star, a man of honour and a statesman. But we are consoled that Governor Ajimobi lived a good life, made his mark in his chosen fields, lifted many and left a good name and legacies of honour and industry.”
Oyetola condoles with Ajimobi’s family
Reacting to the death of the former governor, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun described Ajimobi’s death as unfortunate, painful and a great loss.
Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, said: “I am shocked and saddened by the demise of Senator Ajimobi. His death is unfortunate, painful and a huge loss.”
I’m saddened by Ajimobi’s death – Sanwo-Olu
On his part, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, yesterday, described the former governor’s death as a great loss to Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said: “The passage of Senator Ajimobi hurt me. My heart was filled with grief when I was informed that I have lost another political icon.
“Senator Ajimobi was more than a politician, he was a man of many parts whose managerial skills and experience are required at this critical period in our national life.”
Nigeria has lost an outstanding statesman—Tinubu
Also, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said Nigeria has lost an outstanding statesman.
Tinubu, in a statement by his Media Aide, Mr. Tunde Rahman, said: “With his departure, Nigeria has lost an outstanding statesman and one of its most able politicians. Our party, the All Progressives Congress, has lost one of its leading lights. The Yoruba race and Oyo State have lost a favourite son. I have lost a dedicated friend, brother and ally.
The pain we feel at his passing is beyond what words can describe. This good and excellent man has left us but his energy, activism and commitment to Nigeria and its people shall always be with us.”
“Ajimobi was my friend and brother. He was honest and forthright. He had the interest of the people at heart. We shared a common progressive vision for our country and how to bring prosperity, justice and hope to its people.”
His death, a national loss—PDP
Similarly, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has expressed sadness over the death of Ajimobi, describing it as a national tragedy and a huge loss.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said: “Senator Ajimobi was an exceptionally brilliant administrator, outstanding legislator and a man of peace, who made immense contributions and sacrifices towards the unity as well as political stability and development of our dear nation, Nigeria.”