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Flurry of tributes for Abiola Ajimobi

By Kehinde Olatunji (Lagos) John Akubo (Abuja), Ayodele Afolabi (Ado-Ekiti), Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta), Murtala Adewale (Kano) and Oluwaseun Akingboye (Akure)
27 June 2020   |   2:52 am
It was a rain of tributes to the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who died in the early hours of Thursday following complications from COVID-19 infection, yesterday.

• Lawan, Omo-Agege, Akeredolu, Aregbesola, Fayose, Others Mourn

It was a rain of tributes to the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who died in the early hours of Thursday following complications from COVID-19 infection, yesterday.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, expressed grief over Ajimobi’s death. Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, said Ajimobi would be missed by the people of Oyo State and the progressive political family throughout Nigeria.

The Senate President said Oyo State would always remember him for his numerous achievements over which the people rewarded him as the first governor to be re-elected in the history of the politically sophisticated state.

“We, at the Senate, mourn Senator Ajimobi who also served with merit at the upper legislative chamber between 2003 and 2007 during which time he was the Deputy Senate Minority Leader,” Lawan said. The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, also commiserated with the government and people of Oyo State over the demise of Ajimobi yesterday.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Yomi Odunuga, noted that the late Ajimobi would be remembered for his patriotism and passionate commitment to delivering dividends of democracy to the people.

To the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, Ajimobi was an embodiment of courage who resonated intelligence and an unusual resilience. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity), Ojo Oyewamide, said the governor personally touched and felt the sense of a great loss in Ajimobi’s death, saying he would be sorely missed.

The Ogun State chapter of the APC in a statement by the Secretary of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, described Ajimobi as “a versatile politician, courageous administrator and a jinx breaker in the politics of Oyo State, who never shied away from expressing his mind and taking responsibility on issues.”

“Ajimobi raised the bar of governance in Oyo. We cannot forget that the late Senator. Against past failed efforts and age-long erroneous impression that Ibadan cannot be made clean, Ajimobi not only cleaned up the largest city in West Africa, he also left his indelible marks on infrastructure, education, health and agriculture, among others. He was a jolly good fellow,” the statement added.

Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, on his part, said the former governor died at a time his experience was seriously needed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Senator Ajimobi was one of the few Nigerian politicians who traversed both the corporate and political world and made success of both.
“He died at a time the country and the APC needed his wealth of experience and wisdom from both worlds,” Obasa said.

Also, Kano State Commissioner for Rural Development, Dr. Musa Illiasu Kwankwaso, expressed shock over the demise of Ajimobi. In a condolence message he personally signed, Kwankwaso described the late Ajimobi as a great achiever whose contributions to the socio-economic growth of Oyo State would always be remembered.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, also said the death of Ajimobi was devastating. Aregbesola said that the nation was going through a dark period, lamenting that in less than 45 days, a number of well-meaning political allies and intimate companions had suddenly died in painful manners.

In a statement, the Minister said the late Ajimobi was the only ally in the South-West who was steadfast to the cause of the APC and stood by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying he 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.

The Ekiti State chapter of the APC in a statement by its director of publicity, Sam Oluwalana, noted that the contributions of Ajimobi to Oyo State were indelible. The party stated that late Ajimobi would be greatly missed, especially by members of APC and those that benefitted from his positive contributions during his eight-year rule in Oyo State.

Also, former Senate Minority leader, Mrs Biodun Olujimi, in her condolence message, described Ajimobi as a selfless politician, advocate of good governance and servant -leader who left behind indelible legacies.

The federal lawmaker representing Ekiti South Senatorial District commiserated with late Ajimobi’s wife, Florence, and the people of the state. She said the people of Oyo State, Southwest and Nigeria in general would sorely miss him.

Also, former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, in a statement by his media aide, Lere Olayinka, described the late Ajimobi as a complete gentleman.

“We have lost a complete gentleman, who lived a fulfilled life both in the business world and politics. He was down to earth, never a pretender.
“Senator Abiola Ajimobi demonstrated leadership and loyalty to worthy causes and above all, he was patriotic to the collective good of the country. He was a leader who affected lives beyond party lines and he will be remembered for all his good works. He will be sorely missed,” Fayose said.