A former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, has described the late ex-Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, as the best and most productive governor of the state.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, in a condolence message in Lagos on Thursday, said Mr Ajimobi was reputed to be the best and most productive governor Oyo State has had.
“In this assessment, I concur as do so many others.
“The numerous infrastructural and public works projects he initiated literally changed the face of Oyo State for the better.
“He broke a political jinx that many said could not be broken as the first governor to serve two consecutive terms in Oyo State.
“His legacy as a governor will be an enduring and positive one,” Tinubu said.
The News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Ajimobi died on Thursday afternoon at the First Cardiology Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos, aged 70.
He will be buried on Friday in Ibadan according to Islamic rites.
Mr Tinubu said with the demise of Ajimobi, the APC has lost one of its leading lights.
He described the late deputy National Chairman (South) of APC as an honest and forthright statesman who had the interest of the people at heart.
“Ajimobi’s death hurts.
“I had hoped that we could achieve more together but the ultimate wisdom and all our fates rest in the hands of Almighty Allah who knows best.
“We shared a common progressive vision for our country and how to bring prosperity, justice and hope to its people.
“I have lost a dedicated friend, brother and ally.
APC Chieftain, Bola Tinubu
“Nigeria has lost an outstanding statesman and one of its most able politicians.
“The Yoruba race and Oyo State have lost a favourite son.
“This good and excellent man has left us but his energy, activism and commitment to Nigeria and its people shall always be with us,” he said.
Mr Tinubu said he would always remember and hold dear the vital contributions late Ajimobi made to the establishment of APC.
According to him, the history of APC would not be squarely written without Mr Ajimobi.
He noted how Mr Ajimobi worked with great commitment and sagacity to enshrine progressive governance in the party, Oyo and Nigeria itself.
“His recent emergence as the Deputy National Chairman of our party was in affirmation of his many years of service and devotion to the pursuit of democratic governance.
Mr Tinubu extended his condolences to late Ajimobi’s family, especially his wife and children, adding that he was a loving husband and father.
He urged all to find strength in the good way Ajimobi lived his life and in the fine and good ideals for which he fought.
The former Lagos State governor advised all to carry on with the important task ahead because that is what the late Ajimobi would expect of all.
“My heart grieves for his wife, Florence, and their children.
“May they find the comfort that only Almighty Allah can provide at this moment.
“My prayer is that the Almighty Allah shower mercy upon him, reward his good deeds and admit him into Aljanna Firdaus,” Mr Tinubu said.
In his own condolence message, a former Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday expressed sadness over the demise of Mr Ajimobi.
Mr Ambode, in a statement signed by his media aide, Habib Aruna, described Mr Ajimobi’s demise as a personal loss, saying the former governor meant more than a brother and a colleague to him.
The former governor of Lagos recalled memories shared during their time as governors, saying they were very close.
“This is a great loss to me as l received the news of Ajimobi’s demise with a heavy heart.
“He was always full of wisdom, very witty and always willing to provide his honest opinion on issues.
Akinwunmi Ambode, former Lagos governor [Photo: BBC]
“His political sagacity was one I admired from afar and I am glad to have shared many memorable moments with him,” he said.
Mr Ambode said Mr Ajimobi’s eight years as governor was remarkable, saying that his strides across the length and breadth of Oyo State would never be forgotten in a hurry.
“Ajimobi was very passionate about his state, the Yoruba agenda and the Nigerian project.
“He was a progressive party man to the core and Oyo citizens will testify to the fact that he left the state better than he met it,” he said.
Mr Ambode extended his condolence to the family of the late Oyo governor, urging his wife, Florence, to take solace in the fact that her husband lived a fulfilled life and left an indelible mark on his people.
“This is a big loss.
“As much as he was a politician, he was also a devoted family man.
“I pray that Almighty God will grant him eternal rest and his entire family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” Mr Ambode said.