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Sympathisers in their hundreds on Thursday evening stormed the private residence of former Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, located at Oluyole estate following the announcement of his demise.

The mourners, many of who said they thought the death news was a rumour, were seen weeping at the residence.

The sympathisers comprised political associates, friends and extended family members.

Meanwhile, a family source said the corpse is expected to arrive Friday morning from the Lagos hospital, where he breathed his last. The source said arrangement for the burial was ongoing at the time of filing this report.

Mr Ajimobi, an APC chieftain, died at a private hospital in Lagos after spending weeks in intensive care for coronavirus complications, according to Akin Alabi, a federal lawmaker and political associate of the former governor’s. He was 70.

Mr Ajimobi’s passing came a week after he was rumoured to have died at the same private hospital. That rumour turned to be false.

Mr Ajimobi was a senator from 2003 to 2007. After unsuccessful attempts, he was ultimately elected governor in 2011 and re-elected in 2015, becoming the first Oyo State governor to serve two terms.

He was survived by his wife and children.

Makinde mourns

The current Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, has directed that flags be flown at half-mast in the state to honour Mr Ajimobi.

“I was so sorry to hear the news of the passing away of the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, which sad event took place earlier today,” Mr Makinde wrote in condolence message sent to journalists.

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“I cannot begin to imagine the pain the family must be going through at this time because of the loss of their patriarch. It is my prayer that God grants them all the strength to bear this great loss.

“I join the good people of Oyo State as we mourn the death of a statesman. I have directed that flags fly at half-mast tomorrow in honour of our brother, friend and illustrious son of Oyo State.

“Surely, he will be remembered for leaving a blueprint for some of the activities that our administration is now undertaking.

“The Oyo State Government will be extending to his family, all the courtesies deserving of his personage. May his soul rest in peace.”

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