Florence Ajimobi, Not Slowing Down


Countless reams of copy, numberless words on the stage, have been written and spoken about the scourge of addiction in the society. Speaker after speaker, writer after poet waxes lyrical about lost dreams, lost lives and lost livelihoods sacrificed on the altar of bad and unbreakable habits.

What most of them failed to realize, or perhaps refuse to acknowledge, is that power in its various guises is perhaps the greatest addiction of all. Indeed, only a brave and possibly foolish historian would argue that most of the major wars of civilization weren’t the direct or indirect consequence of someone willing, at all costs, to gain power, or retain it.

All of which makes Mrs Florence Ajimobi, the lovely woman of substance and wife of ex-governor Abiola Ajimobi, a fascinating case study. It is no news that she was always in the limelight during her husband’s eight-year dalliance with the summit of governance in Oyo State. Having got used to the dizzy heights of power, not many wondered how she would cope now that the family has been “demoted” a few rungs lower on the political totem pole.

As it turned out, nobody need have worried. Florence, who celebrated her 60th birthday in April this year, has barely taken a breather since the handover. It seemed as if nothing has changed. She’s still her effervescent outgoing self. Any event worth her while to attend, be sure she will grace it.

Unlike some former first lady who now find it difficult to relate with ordinary folk, Madam Florence has no such scruples. In fact, she has become a speaking sensation overnight. Name any major event in the city of Ibadan and environs and chances are that she is either an honoured guest, or the main speaker on the occasion.

To mark her 39th year of marital sojourn with her husband and also close a chapter as first lady of Oyo, Florence released a book, Reflections and Life Lessons at 60: My Life Like A Rainbow earlier in the year. Her memoir-of-sorts has become a hot cake. It is harder to get a hold of the book than to travel to the moon. She is always being invited to one event or the other to come and share valuable life lessons from her experiences.