Governors, others at Ajimobi’s funeral
KANO State Governor Abdulahi Ganduje; his Ekiti State counterpart Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Oyo State Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan; his Lagos State counterpart Obafemi Hamzat and Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly Mudashiru Obasa were among the dignitaries who came to pay last respect to the late Abiola Ajimobi in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Sunday.
Ajimobi, former Oyo State governor, died of COVID-19 complications at a private hospital in Lagos last Thursday. He was buried privately on Sunday morning in his Oluyole, Ibadan home amid sobs by children and relations. His remains were interred at about 10am after the Chief Imam of Ibadan land, Sheik Ajigbotomokekere, led prayers for the repose of the deceased’s soul.
A public prayer session was later held at the Abiola Ajimobi Mosque, Oke-Ado where a renowned Islamic preacher, Alhaji Muyideen Bello, led other priests to give a brief sermon.
He extolled the virtues of the late ex-governor, stressing that despite the demands of his governorship position, he served God and supported Islam.
Bello said: “Ajimobi lived well. He promoted Islam. In fact, I pray God to help the living to also live well like him. When he became the governor, we argued over the mosque located behind his office. We told him that government does not usually fulfil its promises on mosques. Then he said he wished to build a mosque. Thank God we are in that mosque, which he built today.” He said Ajimobi’s exploits and his death had already presented a lengthy sermon for the living.
The cleric recalled one of his last interactions with Ajimobi when he invited him to chair an Islamic lecture in his capacity as Abiola Ajimobi, not as a politician or former governor.
“When I asked him to address the audience that day, what he said was instructive. He said he desired long life because his father died shortly before age 70. He added that although long life was desirable, once one was blessed with the ability to achieve one’s dreams in life, it was a thing of joy. He expressed his desire to live till age 90.
“This death that every human runs away from, a day is coming when we shall all encounter it where we cannot escape. What are we going to be remembered for?”
At the prayer session were Ganduje, Olaniyan, Hamzat, Obasa, Ajimobi’s deputy Chief Moses Adeyemo, Chief Bayo Adelabu and Sen. Teslim Folarin. They were joined by Ajimobi’s son and relations.
•Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu (left), commiserating with Mrs. Ajimobi during his condolence visit to the late Sen. Ajimobi’s family at their Lagos home
Other clerics included Deputy Chief Imam of Ibadan Alh. Fatai Alaga; Khalifa Muideen Ayede; Chairman, Oyo State branch of NASFAT Alh. Adekilekun; Alh. Akewugbagold and the head of Oyo State Muslim Community Alh. Kunle Sanni.
Obasa told reporters that Ajimobi’s ties with Lagos political community were strong, having proved to be a loyal party man.
He said: “He was a loyalist who never forgot his benefactor. This is why Lagos political family will continue to identify with his family and his legacies. The kind of development he introduced in Oyo State fetched him the sobriquet ‘Koseleri.’ He served the party wholeheartedly. That was why he was nominated and supported as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Acting National Chairman of our party.”