The Spokesman for the late Abiola Ajimobi says his boss had planned to retire from politics after completing his eight-year tenure as governor of Oyo State last year.
The Spokesman, Bolaji Tunji, said in his tribute on Facebook that Ajimobi told his staff that he didn’t want to take up the appointment as the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress but he had to as an obligation.
Tunji wrote, “He never wanted anything else after the general election. He only wanted to take a long, due rest after serving for eight years without break. But another position was thrust on him. He never solicited for it and he did not want. But they convinced him to accept.
“I know because, in his usual forthrightness, he narrated how it happened. He took the position because he felt it would benefit his people. ‘I have done my bit. There is nothing I set out to achieve that I did not, I cannot be governor again, but I cannot leave you people’ he would say.”
Narrating how Ajimobi fell ill, Tunji said he was called to Abuja to discuss party issues amid the APC crisis.
Tunji said Ajimobi had before his departure signed all the letters of appointment for the peace and reconciliation committee of the APC.
He said the late ex-governor took a private flight to Abuja and never returned the same.
The spokesman wrote, “He had received a call to come to Abuja. It was to discuss party matters. He was not sure of who would follow him. Because it was a private flight, he had limited options. He only went with his security aide.
“He had told us earlier in our office in his Oluyole home that we would talk about the movement to Abuja since he had become the Deputy National Chairman. Our office had to relocate to Abuja.
“He was in his usual caftan and cap, always impeccably dressed even at home except when he does his exercise every morning in his blue track down and stripe blue tee-shirt and branded cap.
“He radiated good health and we still marveled that he still looked so good at 70. As he left our wing of the house to the other side, a few of us in our usual manner trailed him. He spoke with a few people in the courtyard before he left to prepare for that trip. I never knew it was going to be the last time I would see him.”
The aide said it remained a mystery how the deceased contracted COVID-19.
Tunji said he always adhered to all protocols like wearing masks and washing of hands.
He wrote, “I still can’t wrap my head around what happened. He was so healthy, he was neat, he took all the necessary precautions even while he sat with us in our open office, he was always with his face mask, we always observed social distancing.
“We were always quick to give him hands sanitizer any time he touched something. We were conscious of his age and did all we could to ensure safety. We had three spots where you had to wash hands before entering the premises. How did it happen? None of us was sick. So where did this come from? I am still trying to find answers.”
Ajimobi died of COVID-19 complications on June 25, 2020, barely hours after the APC National Working Committee of – which he was a member – was dissolved.