he death has been announced of a former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi. He died at the age of 70, close family members say.
Ajimobi’s death is linked to COVID-19 as he was reported to have secondary medical problems.
Controversy surrounding his death
On June 18, 2020, ALEDEH News reported his death from COVID-19, which garnered the attention of several Nigerians and soon attracted denials from his daughter and spokesperson.
“Thank you for all the messages but our father is still alive, alhamdulillah. When it is our time we will all die so wait first,” his daughter Fatima Ganduje-Ajimobi, his daughter in-law tweeted.
“My attention has been drawn to the rumours circulating on the social media about my principal. Kindly disregard. We however continue to pray for him. Thank you all for the show of concern,” Bolaji Tunji, his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy also said.
After the news of Ajimobi’s death broke, some members of his family complained about their inability to reach him and his family. Sources within the family had complained to ALEDEH News that they were unable to reach him and his immediate family especially after another news platform had announced him testing negative to Covid-19. One of our sources said they were surprised to see that the announcement of his situation then was made by their daughter-in-law and not their “nephew or wife”.
His death was announced shortly after the dissolution of the National Working Committee of the APC, which he was previously appointed as its Acting Chairman.
Born in Ibadan on December 16, 1949, Ajimobi attended Lagelu Grammar School before going to the United States where he studied Business Administration and Finance at the State University of New York.
Ajimobi spent 26 years in the oil sector before he ventured into politics, becoming a Senator in 2003. He became the governor of Oyo State in 2011, spending 8 years in his two terms as governor, and handed over to Seyi Makinde on the 29th of May, 2019.
His ambition to become a Senator for the second time failed as he was defeated in the 2019 Senatorial election.
In March 2020, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) approved his nomination as the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party. After his appointment into the NWC was met by opposition from certain quarters, a Federal High Court affirmed his appointment.
On June 16, 2020, a Court of Appeal upheld the suspension of the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, by a lower court. The NWC subsequently named Ajimobi the acting National Chairman amid reports that he was incapacitated due to COVID-19.
On June 17, 2020, due to his “unavoidable absence” according to the NWC, the committee unanimously appointed Vice Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Etta, to act on his behalf.
The APC has since appointed a caretaker committee after the dissolution of the NWC.