President Buhari, Governors lead tribute for Ajimobi

Tributes are pouring in for ex-governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi who died from complications from coronavirus infection in a private hospital in Lagos on Thursday afternoon.

Ajimobi, a senator from 2003 to 2007 died at the age of 70.

After unsuccessful attempts, he was eventually elected governor in 2011 and re-elected in 2015, becoming the first Oyo State governor to serve two terms.

Leading the tributes for the late Senator was President Muhammadu Buhari, who noted that the contributions of the deceased to the development of Oyo State will always be remembered by the people.

Buhari condoled with government and people of Oyo State in a condolence message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Thursday.

The President also commiserated with the family of the former governor, who served the country as a Senator, 2003, before winning the governorship election in 2011.

The president noted that the deceased remained steadfast and consistent in his progressive views, and working assiduously for the creation of the All Progressives Congress.

According to him, Ajimobi, aged 70,  left the world at a crucial moment when the party and the country needed his counsels to heal and grow, noting that his absence would be sorely felt by all associates, particularly in the APC.

The President prayed that the almighty God would comfort the family of the former governor, and grant him a peaceful rest.

In the same vein, while expressing sadness over the demise of Ajimobi, Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile  described the death of the former governor as a great loss to his family, the people of the Oyo State and the country as a whole.

He said that Ajimobi’s death, after all efforts by medical professionals to stabilise him when he took ill, had opened a deep sore in the hearts of millions of Nigerians who looked up to him as a rallying point and a political stabiliser.

”The passage of Senator Ajimobi hurt me. My heart was filled with grief when I was informed that I had lost another political icon in our battle against the coronavirus.

”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.

”Senator Ajimobi was a distinguished Nigerian who bestrode the economic and political space of the country like a colossus. He made his mark in the corporate world before venturing into politics.

”As first elected governor to serve two terms in Oyo State, his achievements will remain indelible in the annals of political history of that state and Nigeria as a whole,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor commiserated with the deceased’s family, saying that the death of loved ones was usually one of the most painful episodes in peoples’ lives although death was inevitable.

”We all will die someday. Therefore we must gather enough strength to carry on.

”It is with heavy heart that I commiserate with his beloved wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, the children and other family members he left behind. My heart and prayers are with you all at this period of your grief. May God comfort you.

”May Allah grant the soul of late Isiaka Ajimobi eternal rest and preserve a place for him in Aljanah Firdaus,” he said.

In his own tribute, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger in a condolence message was by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Berje said that the government and people of Niger and those of the North Central Zone shared in the moment of grief with the family of the deceased who was a patriotic Nigerian.

The governor described Ajomobi as “a committed, diligent, hard-working and selfless politician who served his state and the nation in different capacities.

”Ajimobi contributed his quota to the political and economic development of the country,” the governor said.

Bello, however, noted that he was consoled by the fact that the deceased lived a life worthy of emulation and left an indelible mark in the sands of time.

“Ajimobi was a patriotic and an exemplary leader who impacted so many lives. We have to accept what God has allowed to happen knowing that death is inevitable to all mortals,” he said.

The governor prayed Allah to grant the soul of the deceased Aljannah Firdausi and give his family and the people of the state the fortitude to bear the loss.

Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun, also commiserated with the family of the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi.

Oyetola, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, in Osogbo on Thursday, described Ajimobi’s death as unfortunate, painful and a great loss.

The governor said his thoughts and prayers were with the Ajimobi family, theGovernor  All Progressives Congress(APC) and the people of Oyo State.

“I am shocked and saddened by the demise of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

“His death is unfortunate, painful and a huge loss.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Ajimobi family, his loved ones, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the people of Oyo State, whom he served meritoriously as governor for eight years,” the governor said.

Oyetola noted that Ajimobi’s administration brought reforms and unprecedented development to Oyo and its people, adding that he changed the face of governance in the state.

He said: “As a two-term governor, Senator Ajimobi redefined governance in Oyo State.

”His administration embarked on unprecedented infrastructure development in the state and redefined the urban status and development profile of not only the capital city, Ibadan, but other major cities in the state.

“Senator Ajimobi was also a true progressive and a loyal party man. He was committed to the ideals of the APC and will be sorely missed by the party.”

Oyetola prayed to Almighty Allah to overlook his shortcomings and grant him Aljanah Firdaus.

He also asked God to comfort his family and loved ones.

Also, Sen. Kola Balogun (PDP-Oyo South) has expressed sadness over  the death of former Gov. Abiola Ajimobi.

Balogun , in a statement issued on Thursday by his media aide, Rotimi Johnson, said that he and others  had been apprehensive over  Ajimobi’s health status for about a week.

According to him, they had  also joined his family and friends to pray for his quick recovery.

“Former Gov. Ajimobi would be remembered for breaking jinx of second term in Oyo State and for other daring projects.

“Without mincing words, we have lost another illustrious son of Ibadan, a great politician and administrator.

” We would have loved to have him with us for more years but God loves him more and knows better,” he said.

He condoled with late Ajimobi’s wife, Florence, members of the family, Gov. Seyi Makinde, Olubadan of Ibadan, leaders and members of the All Progressives  Congress in Oyo State as well as Nigeria.

“Also, our people should be more prayerful, careful and take every precaution as directed by COVID-19  Task Force. Together, we shall overcome this pandemic,” he said.

The Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON) in Oyo State also lamented the passage of Ajimobi.

The ALGON in a statement signed by its Chairman, Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, said  that Ajimobi’s death had left a vacuum too difficult to fill.

“ Ajimobi’s death is a great and irreplaceable loss to his family, friends, political associates and the great people of Oyo State.

“Ajimobi was an architect of a new order, an erudite leader, a consummate politician who served the  pacesetter state with  utmost dedication, love and focus to make the state greater than he met it.

“He was indeed a multitask development expert with profound intelligence which made him an accomplished administrator of human and natural resources for the betterment of the people of Oyo State and Nigeria,” it said.

The ALGON said that it took solace in the fact that death as the ultimate end of all humans was inevitable.

“We commiserate with his lovely family, friends and political associates, government of Oyo State and the entire people of the state whom he served with all his strength.

“May the soul of our courageous and highly intelligent leader rest in peace. God grant him Aljanah Fridaus,” it said.