For the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Sunday, June 16, 2019, could once again be described as a day of honour and a further recognition of his unprecedented performance as governor of the Pacesetter State.
It was a day prominent Nigerians gathered to shower encomium on him for the giant strides in Oyo State under his stewardship. It was a gathering of the Creme de la Creme of the Nigerian Society at the Civic Centre in Ibadan that Sunday afternoon.
A coterie of business, political and the royalty present at the event included astute businessman and banker, Otunba Subomi Balogun and wife; Lt. General Alani Akinrinade (rtd); highly respected Chief Obafemi Olopade; former Lagos governor, General Raji Rasaki; Professor and Mrs O.O. Akinkugbe; former Chief Justice of Oyo State, Hon. Nurudeen Adekola; Iyalode of Ibadanland and her husband, Chief Oyekanmi; Vice Chancellor ( VC) and former VC, University of Ibadan, Professors Abel Idowu Olayinka and Ayo Banjo; VC, Kola Daisi University; former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni; former Nigerian Ambassador, Olu Saanu and wife; Industrialist Chief Bode Amao; Alhaji Yekeen Adeojo; President, Central Council of Ibadan Indigene (CCII), Chief Yemi Soladoye; former President, CCII, Chief Bayo Oyero; former two-time Minister of Industry, Chief ( Mrs) Onikepo Akande and her husband, Chief Bayo Akande; Chief Pius Akinyelure, former Managing Director of Daily Times and Chairman, Tanus Communications, Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, traditional rulers and a host of other prominent Nigerians.
The dignitaries, in accord described Ajimobi as an exemplary leader who impacted positively during his stewardship as governor.
The reception and prayer session was organised by billionaire businessman and Bashorun of Ibadanland, Chief Kola Daisi. Paying glowing tribute to the former governor, Otunba Subomi Balogun, the founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), said Ajimobi performed creditably as governor of the state and left indelible mark in the history of the state. “You started very well. We are sure you will continue well and the good Lord will be with you. I adore you, I respect you whether as a governor or former governor,’’ Olori Omo Oba of Ijebuland said.
Prof. Emeritus Oladipo Akinkugbe said Ajimobi did very well in office, adding the people needed to thank him for his excellent performance. Akinkugbe, a renowned professor of medicine, said Ajimobi’s tenure would be reflected in gold by posterity. “It is only posterity that can determine the quality of your contributions. Ajimobi’s tenure will be chronicled in the history of Oyo State. “I am very sure that the people of Oyo state will soon start to praise him for his achievements. I congratulate you for executing projects that impact a lot on the lives of the citizenry,’’ he said.
Others who commended Ajimobi for his giant strides as governor of the state include Mrs. Solanke who sent a letter of commendation, Chief Onikepo Akande, and Prof. Olayinka, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan. Bashorun Daisi said the reception was organised to celebrate Ajimobi’s countless achievements in office, pray for his family, the state and Nigeria. Also to pray for his late wife, Alhaja Sherifat and late Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Alao Arisekola. He said Ajimobi was exemplary in his private and public life, saying he brought into politics his personal experience which he inherited, those he developed and that which he learnt from books. “I have no doubt that he entered the turbulent water of politics at the appropriate time. He has been unusually lucky and blessed with his incomparable partner in life”, in reference to the former governor’s wife, Chief (Mrs) Florence Ajimobi, ‘’ he said.
Sheikh Muyideen Bello, a renowned Islamic preacher, in his sermon, lauded Ajimobi for his unprecedented achievements in the state, saying it was the first time a governor would leave office in the state and be celebrated.
He urged the governor not to relent in contributing to the development of the state and Nigeria. He urged Ajimobi’s successor to take a cue from his exemplary leadership. Responding, the former governor thanked God and the people for their support which saw him steer the ship of the state for an unprecedented eight years. Ajimobi expessed appreciation at the honour and the different accolades adding that God has been very good to him and his family. “Today is a day of validation. It is the happiest day of my life. I say this because of the quality of people present here today. They are people who rose to the peak of their chosen profession.
“My problem is that I try to be perfect in this imperfect world. I know that seeking perfection is always impossible, but I know in seeking perfection, I will achieve excellence,’’ he said.
He thanked the people of the state for giving him the opportunity to serve the state successfully, saying he left the state better than he met it.
Bolaji Tunji writes from Ibadan, Oyo State.