By Kemi Olaitan
Former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, is dead. He was aged 70.
The former governor who later served as the Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress died of an undisclosed ailment in a private hospital in Lagos, though reports said that he may have contracted COVID-19 and may have died of complications from the disease.
No official statement has been issued on his death and attempts to speak with his spokesman, Bolaji Tunji, on phone were unsuccessful. A source however confirmed that he died on Thursday afternoon.
As at the time of filing this report, people have been trooping to his country home at Yemoja Street, Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, to confirm the news of his death.
Only the small gate to the palatial home was opened with none of the family members around, except security men.
The late Ajimobi was born on 16 December 1949 into the Ajimobi family at Oja-Iba, Ibadan. His grandfather was Sobaloju of Ibadan Land (a chief in the royal court of Ibadan). His uncle, Hon. N.A. Ajimobi was Minister of Works and Transport in the Western Region. His father, Pa Ajimobi, was also an honourable member of the House of Assembly in the Old Western region.
He started his education at Saint Patrick’s Primary School, Oke-Padre in Ibadan. He completed his primary education at Ibadan City Council Primary School, Aperin. His secondary education was at Lagelu Grammar School.
Ajimobi’s university education was in the United States of America, where he studied Business Administration and Finance at the State University of New York, in Buffalo, New York graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. His MBA was in Operations Research and Marketing with a concentration on Finance at Governors State University, University Park, Illinois.
In 2003, he became a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ajimobi was a principal officer in the Senate, serving as the Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate. In 2007, he contested the gubernatorial election under the umbrella of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but lost. Ajimobi contested again in 2011 under the Action Congress of Nigeria and won.
Ajimobi contested for a second term in an election that took place on April 11, 2015 under the All Progressive Congress (APC) against two of his predecessors in office, Otunba Christopher Alao Akala and Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja. He won, becoming the first civilian governor of the state to be reelected
Ajimobi was elected as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Oyo South senatorial candidate on 28 September 2018. On March 9, 2019, he lost the Oyo South senatorial district seat to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Dr. Kola Balogun.
Until his death, he was the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the All Progressives Congress.