Oshiomhole: My last moments with Ajimobi
Jide Orintunsin, Abuja/Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba/Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
FORMER national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC),Comrade Adams Oshiomhole yesterday recalled his last moments with the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, relating how the deceased “brought his deep insights, candor and infectious humour to bear in his contributions as the National Vice Chairman to our discussion that day.”
Oshiomhole described the former Oyo State governor as a “true friend and a loyal brother.”
The APC, Senate President Ahmad Lawan,the Progressive Governors Forum,Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and other prominent Nigerians yesterday joined in mourning the death of Ajimobi.
“I recall that our last moments together was at the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC), just few weeks ago. He flew into Abuja that day for the meeting,” Oshiomhole said yesterday of his last interaction with Ajimobi
“As usual, he brought his deep insights, candor and infectious humour to bear in his contributions as the National Vice Chairman to our discussion that day. You couldn’t fault his forensic logic, nor resist his disarming jokes.
“He appeared robust and healthy.
“Against this backdrop, nothing could therefore have prepared me to entertain the suspicion – much less, the thoughts – that that would be our last interaction.
“A family man who treasured the company of his wife and children more than anything, he was in a hurry to return to his Ibadan home as soon as the meeting ended.
“Alas, the news came few days later that he had taken ill. It will therefore not be incorrect to say that Senator Ajimobi met his death serving our great party, APC.
“Indeed, my relationship with Senator Ajimobi transcended partisan politics. As fellow governors, we struck an uncommon rapport. We spoke often on anything – personal, politics and public interest. We drew even closer after we both served out our terms as governors of Oyo and Edo States.
“Twice or thrice, he hosted my wife, Iara, and I in his private home. He and his elegant wife were generous hosts.
“With Ajimobi, you could not ask for a more trustworthy ally in politics. His word was his bond.
APC: ‘What a colossal loss!’
The All Progressives Congress (APC) said the demise of its former deputy National Chairman, South had deprived it a decent man whose spirit and character embodied the party’s progressive mantra.
National Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni said the party was deeply saddened by the death of Senator Ajimobi, the immediate-past governor of Oyo State.
He said: “Senator Ajimobi’s death has come at a crucial time when the party is looking up to our well-meaning leaders to champion the needed reforms and reconciliation moves to be undertaken by the newly-appointed caretaker committee of our great party.
“The APC has lost a decent man who in spirit and character embodied our progressive mantra.
“In mourning, we remember the fond memories and indelible strides Senator Ajimobi left behind. We will always remember a loving father, husband, gentleman, astute administrator, patriotic Nigerian, fine politician who was exemplary in all his private and public endeavors.”
The party then condoled the immediate family, the government and people of Oyo State, as well the entire APC family over the painful loss of the former governor of Oyo State. It also prayed Almighty Allah to be merciful and grant Senator Ajimobi Aljanat Firdaus.
I’m grieved, says Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said he was grieved by the exit of Ajimobi who,he said, “served with merit at the upper legislative chamber between 2003 and 2007 during which time he was the Deputy Senate Minority Leader.”
Ajimobi represented Oyo South Senatorial District in the Senate before he was elected to two consecutive terms as governor.
Lawan said the former governor “will be missed by the people of Oyo State and the progressives political family throughout Nigeria.’
Oyo State,he added “ will always remember him for his numerous achievements over which the people rewarded him as the first governor to be reelected in the history of the politically sophisticated state.”
Lawan said his death will also be felt by the ruling APC especially at a time the party is calling all hands to the deck to steady its sail.
His death is a loss to Progressive Community – PGF
Governors elected on the platform of the APC called the death of the party’s deputy National Chairman Senator Abiola Ajimobi a loss to the nation and the Nigerian progressive community.
The Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) in a statement in Abuja yesterday said it received the news of the death “with heavy heart and gratitude to Allah (SWT) for a life well blessed.”
They joined join “the family, people and government of Oyo State and the nation to pray for the repose of the soul of our dear and beloved Sen. Abiola Ajimobi. His death is a loss to the nation and the Nigerian progressive community.
We pray to God Almighty to grant the family the fortitude to bear this heavy loss. May Allah reward all the good work of Sen. Ajimobi, forgive his limitations and bless what he left behind.”
He was a patriot Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State hailed the deceased as “a patriot and a political icon whose life-long dedication and indefatigable commitment to serving the people will be unforgettable.”
The governor in a condolence message in Asaba recalled how Ajimobi “made history when he was re-elected in 2015 to become the first democratically-elected Governor of Oyo State to serve two terms.”
He added: “His contributions to the social, political and economic development of Nigeria and indeed, humanity will forever remain indelible in our hearts.
“It is my prayer that God grant the immediate family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” he stated.
We lost another gem – Aregbesola
Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola said he was devastated by Ajomobi’s death. Nigeria,according to the minister is “ going through a dark period” because “ in less than 45 days, a number of well-meaning political allies and intimate companions have suddenly died in dramatic, but painful manners.”
He said the late Ajimobi “was the only ally in the South-West, who stood steadfast to the cause of All Progressive Congress (APC) and stood by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” and was unflinching in his commitment to core Yoruba values and the defence of the party’s leadership.
The former Governor of Osun State stated that Ajimobi’s loyalty cost him a lot electorally and personally, thereby losing to the opposition in the 2019 general elections but as a sign of maturity, he bore all conspiracies against him with an uncommon valour, rare comportment and maturity.
Aregbesola noted that Ajimobi’s death was a loss to all nationalists, federalists, genuine democrats and the progressives.
We’ll remember him for his sense of humour, hard work, say Amosun
Former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun described Senator Ajimobi as a highly skilled and educated professional. Amosun said the deceased distinguished himself in the service of Oyo State where he made history as the first to be elected Governor twice just as in the Senate where he served as a principal officer in the fifth Senate.
He described Senator Ajimobi as a “good friend and brother, who would be remembered for his hard work, sense of humour and diligence in the service of humanity”
Senator Amosun prayed that God will grant the family of Senator Ajimobi the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. He also prayed that Allah grants Senator Ajimobi Aljannat Firdaous.
Ex- Oyo gov ‘died of multiple organ failure’
Ajimobi, 70, died on Thursday at First Cardiologist Consultant, a private COVID-19 approved care facility in Lagos State.
Lagos State Health Commissioner Akin Abayomi said the former governor died “from multiple organs failure following complications from COVID-19 infection.”
Ajimobi served as Oyo State governor from 2011 to 2019.
Ajimobi’s death, great loss to Yoruba, says Ooni
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, yesterday joined other Nigerians to mourn the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who passed away on Thursday evening in Lagos.
While the Ooni described the death of the ex-governor as a great loss to the Yoruba race, the Olubadan said “words are not enough to describe the untimely exit’ of an illustrious son and Aare of Ibadan land.
Oba Ogunwusi in a statement through his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, said Ajimobi was a unique Yoruba leader and would be missed greatly.
Ooni Ogunwusi equally noted that Ajimobi’s humorous nature would also be greatly missed, especially by his immediate family members, friends and associates across the world.
He said: “The death of former Governor Ajimobi is unfortunate and painful.”
He said Ajimobi was ‘very humorous and down-to-earth in nature,” friendly, respectful, intelligent, “a worthy descendant of Oduduwa” and a patriotic Nigerian who wrote his name in gold through his giant strides in the public service, especially while he served as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and two-term governor of Oyo State.”
Ajimobi for burial tomorrow
Ibadan- Senator Abiola Ajimobi will be laid to rest tomorrow in Ibadan according to details of the funeral arrangement released last night.
Time is 12noon at Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi Central Mosque, Oke Ado, Ibadan, after the Islamic prayers.
But it will strictly be a family affair in line with the COVID-19 protocol, media aide to the deceased, Mr Bolaji Tunji, said.
Tunji said details of the live media coverage of the funeral ceremony will be made public today.
“In the near future, details of a larger funeral gathering will be announced where a lot more of his well wishers will have the opportunity to pay him their respect,” he added.
The burial was initially scheduled for yesterday.
Hundreds of sympathisers, friends, associates and relatives yesterday besieged the Ibadan residence of the Ajimobis to express their condolences and in anticipation of his burial but they had to leave when told that it would be a private affair.
Oshiomhole: My last moments with Ajimobi