Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: The Politics Of Former Governor Ajimobi’s Death - A Must Read!

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Politics Of Former Governor Ajimobi’s Death - A Must Read!

Except something else occurs that grabs the headlines and dominates Nigerian social media, the big news of the past week would probably be the death of Senator Abiola Ajimobi and the political drama that it has generated. 







Senator Ajimobi served as a Senator between 2003 -2007. He was Governor of Oyo State between 2011 – 2015, 2015- 2019. He achieved the distinction of being the first Governor in that state to be elected for a second term in office. 


He broke the jinx. His tenure as Governor was quite controversial with mixed results and divided opinions. He was a very frank and outspoken Governor who was also very conscious of his social status and the powers attached to his office. He was also quite audacious. He engaged the Olubadan in an open battle when he chose in one instance to transform some high chiefs of the Olubadan-in-council into beaded kings.



There was also his infamous confrontation with students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) who had stormed Government House to protest the prolonged closure of their school. Ajimobi hushed the students up and told them harshly that they should remember that they were in the presence of “the Constituted Authority” of Oyo State. 


The Oyo State Government under his watch owed arrears of salaries. 

By the general election of 2019, his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) stood no chance in the elections. It was generally believed that the “Constituted Authority” had alienated the people he governed so much they were bound to reject the country’s ruling party in the state. As expected, the APC lost the Gubernatorial election to the rival, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) whose flag-bearer Engr. Seyi Makinde is the incumbent Governor of the state.



In 2019, Ajimobi also sought election into the Senate. Nigeria’s Upper Chamber is increasingly an old people’s home for retired Governors. But he lost the Oyo South Senatorial bid to the candidate, again, of the PDP. He took his case to the Election Petition Tribunal. He lost again. In the face of this rejection, the APC consoled itself with the conclusion that the performance of their party in Oyo state did not amount to a rejection of the APC by the people, but a rejection of Ajimobi’s politics! The same party would later reward Ajimobi with the position of Deputy National Chairman, South West. His admirers insist that he was a hero, a bridge-builder, and an illustrious Ibadan son and politician who made his own contributions to the development of his state and country. His style may just have been a bit brash, they admit.



Man lives. He dies. It is in the nature of all living things to die. Human experiences like love, achievements, social status can bring an individual much fulfilment, but death is the biggest event of our lives. It defines our mortality. It is arbitrary and tragic, because it marks the end of everything. It is not a form of completion, because nobody ever completes life, even a man of 100 still nurses hope, but with death, everything is finished. 


Death does not grant the dead a say in what happens to him or her: but there is a form of survival to it. The dead survive in social contexts: in the memory of those who love or hate them, and each recollection is absolutely beyond the control of the dead. The dead exist only as social identities. Culturally, we are expected to respect and honour them. This is seen as a moral obligation. We are also likely to feel offended if the people besmirch their memory.



But what we often see is that this moral obligation is merely socially constructed. It cannot be imposed. It is determined by context and relationships. We have seen this at play with two recent high profile deaths: that of former Presidential Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, whose death generated so much emotion that it has now formed the substance of a book titled: Abba Kyari –Portrait of a Loyalist: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Sides of Public Service in Nigeria edited by Magnus Onyibe. And now: the death, at 70, of Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Both men died as a result of COVID-19 related complications.


 Both died in the same hospital: First Cardiology Consultants in Lagos.

 But if anyone thought Kyari’s death was controversial, that of Senator Ajimobi would seem to be even more so.


At the centre of the latter is the ugly and totally avoidable conflict between Mrs Florence Ajimobi and the Seyi Makinde administration in Oyo State. During a condolence visit to the Ajimobis led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Mrs Ajimobi turned on the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, and accused the Governor, Seyi Makinde of “playing politics” with her husband’s death. She said: “…He didn’t call me. Even if he had called me, I never had his number. He should have sent text messages for record purposes. The Governor of Oyo State never called me. He never signed a condolence message. Never called even when my husband was on sick bed for one month. What politics are you playing please..?”



The outburst was recorded in a video that has gone viral. The Oyo State Government and the Governor have responded almost in equal measure. The revelations have been unpalatable. It turned out that there was some disagreement over where the former Governor should be buried. The Government says the preferred location by the family in Agodi GRA is a land that is under litigation. The permit that was eventually granted to allow Ajimobi to be buried in his Oluyole GRA home, we are told, was even in violation of an existing law. 

Really? 

Governor Makinde’s administration should not form the bad habit of breaking the law, no matter what! It was further established that the Governor issued a signed condolence statement and had also made efforts to reach out to Mrs. Ajimobi. He also ordered that the flag should be flown at half-mast in honour of the deceased.


When Mrs Ajimobi watches that video again in the future, she may regret speaking too hastily. She only needs to do a review of the reactions to her outburst by the public. She has been accused of having “a sense of entitlement”. “Who does she think she is?”, some asked. The Agodi GRA property where she wanted her husband buried has also become a subject of many uncomplimentary remarks about her husband’s integrity. She has even been told that if she loved her husband that much, why didn’t she shut down her own shop the day her husband was buried? 


Ordinary Nigerians are not always nice to political leaders dead or alive. Social media has given them such voice and freedom that has turned them into a “Constituted Authority” of their own. But the Oyo State Government should sheathe its sword and not add to Mrs Ajimobi’s grief. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in a book titled “On Death and Dying” wrote about the “Five Stages of Grief,” and although the emotions of grief are not scientifically chronological, anger is one of them. When people lose loved ones, they tend to be angry for various reasons, until they come to terms with reality. Mrs Ajimobi deserves support, not abuse at this time.



More people will probably still disappoint her, but if she must be angry, I believe that the people she needs to be angry with are members of the APC National Working Committee who used her husband as a means to their own political ends. By June 16 when Senator Ajimobi was named Acting Chairman of the party as the in-fighting between factions raged, Ajimobi was said to be on life support. Didn’t they know that? Party spokespersons lied that he was recuperating. By June 18, Fisayo Soyombo, an award-winning journalist had gone on twitter to announce that the Senator was dead. He was challenged. He stood by his story. 



He said his source has never failed him. On June 25, the National Executive Committee of the APC dissolved the party’s NWC and set up a Caretaker Committee. The same day, Ajimobi’s death was announced. What manner of men are these who will do political 419 with dying and death and turn a man they claim they love into a pawn? Fisayo Soyombo has been vindicated. A journalist is as good as his or her source. He deserves another award for his investigative journalism. And may God, the only “Constituted Authority”, over and above all things, grant Senator Ajimobi, peaceful repose.

By REUBEN ABATI

45 comments:

  1. Abati our blog visitor weldone. You really used the word entitle mentality.

    That is what the families of ajimobi are.

    They should go away, I don't care about them and most people don't give a dam about them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her sense of entitlement is beyond this world! She acted like a Demi God in that video and if she can be that nasty and rude while grieving her husband, one wonders how she acts ordinarily. She is just a plain rude arrogant woman

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    2. I just wanted to comment Abati is a BV because his quotations on people's reactions appeared almost verbatim on this blog.

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  2. I knew it was Reuben. That woman is in grief, please they should let her breathe, not justifying her action though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She need to make herself breathe instead of sitting there attacking her guest! So does that?

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    2. Her frustration is about to start so she better let herself breathe. Mama were

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  3. For the first time I read it all. Up fisayo soyombo.

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    Replies
    1. Same here. I read it all. Interesting. More ink to your pen sir.

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    2. Me three. The one that got me is the upper chamber being made "an old people's home for retired governors". Reuben, if I don't like you before, I love you already and I promise I will not jump and pass on your long write up again.

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  4. Yes Reuben it must be you,good write up.the

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    Replies
    1. Sellout Reuben. Another overhyped hypocrite

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    2. He captures my attention all the time. So Madam's shop was opened on the day of the burial. Ha! That one no good oh.

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  5. Sir Reuben Abati I'm always delighted to read your write ups..I look forward to the day my write ups will be published like this. Lord you know my heart. A great read. Good morning

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  6. There are few better writers than Reuben in our obodo naijeria.
    But pls people let the widow breathe and grieve in peace.

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    Replies
    1. She started it. They came to give condolences and she started the shit by attacking her guest. She was the instigator in this situation

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  7. Odogwu Reuben Abati I knew it was you right from the start. I enjoyed the write up. RIP to the dead. And to the living AMEND your ways cause there's an expiry date for every living being and you would be remembered for how well you lived or how evil you were. But the major challenge would be the one you would face, just you and your God. The Living need to always remember that how you REPRESENT GOD ON EARTH MATTERS the most!!! Every thing amounting to flesh can't even count for you and I the moment we expire.

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  8. Dis life is vanity!may God forgive him

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  9. The hid the man's death for over one week, that show how credible the family is.

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  10. Reuben is one of the wicked supporters of evil that we wish covid 19 will take out too. He was in Aso Rock dishing lies and insulting the public just like Lai Mohammed and Femi Adesina. He is gradually creeping out of his hypocritical hole.

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  11. Nice write up..

    "Biting and soothing" approach lol

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  12. Truly an informative article. They did play politics with his death to achieve what in the end I wonder. It all boils down for us to live a good life here on earth and if we opportuined to be thrust with power and position. It's a responsibility for us be good to our fellow human being and have the interest of the people at heart.
    Good write up Mr Rueben Abati

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  13. I don’t enjoy reading articles written by hypocrites, so I’ll pass. Next!

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  14. Indeed... May the dead rest in peace

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  15. If not Reuben Abati it cannot be Reuben.

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  16. Well said
    Well written

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  17. I remember one of his daughter wore a dress worth one million naira then, I hope they keep wearing such. R.I.P to the dead

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One million naira? That's nothing to that greedy oloju kokoro elenu nla bisola. She is such a wasteful girl now that her ATM is gone... let's pray she doesn't start doing money ritual.

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  18. Death never teaches Nigerians anything. Not even the death of Kyari or Ajimobi. We hate, fight and kill to amass so much and at death everything becomes meaningless including spouse, children, education, wealth, status etc yet those left behind never learn anything.Even the former first lady could not honour her husband's death-what a woman!!! Despite all he amassed, he was buried in red earth, wrapped in just white cloth with a local mat as cover yet she is busy fighting for what? Women never cease to amaze me; Nigerians and the things they struggle and fight for never cease to amaze me. Abacha, Kyari, Ajimobi etc left it all behind, when shall we learn that it is only for here and now. No one is assured the next minute...Selah

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  19. Good journalism. Thumbs up for you sir.

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  20. Oga Reuben ur the best,I will have to follow you on all social media platforms,I want to continue reading your long epistle just incase sister stella forgets to publish it here. And I wish I can be a great writer just like you.well done sir

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  21. Mrs Ajimobi said she did not pick their calls as she did not have their numbers- that is proof of her own culpability. There is usually a ceremony where the incumbent first lady meets the incoming one. It means Mrs Ajimobi felt too big to organise that ceremony or if she did, she didn't see Seyi Makinde's wife's number of being worthy enough to be stored on her phone. This also means that she she did not wish the incoming governor and his family the best in a congratulatory message when they were sworn in and o we the festivities that have happened in the he state- his one year anniversary, last Christmas and New year etc ( there is no claim that the present governor reached out to them in these holidays either but since they did call her during her husband's illness and assumed she would have stored their numbers. She did not relate with Mrs Makinde as a big sister even though from a distance and now she wants to keep score of who called and didn't call?

    Mrs Ajimobi and her husband have the same approach to life and this shows in their interviews online. While he was insulting pensioners and students and demolishing Ayefele's facility and mocking his disability, she was defending him as misunderstood. This also reflects in the attitude of his children. I am glad they were born after the slavery was abolished. It would have been more serious.

    The people Madam should be fighting are those in her husband's party who kept using a man in a bad comma for politics, appointing him while he was no longer conscious and them sacking him in death. If you don't pick calls, what if those calling you don't text? Of they saved your number, what was difficult in saving theirs? If you feel to big to be civil with those who now hold temporary office, don't be angry when they let you be. Looking down on people is not the answer. You are Gandollar's in-law. You have no right to hold your nose up to anyone.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God will enrich your brain for what you wrote up there. You have sense!!!!

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    2. Aptly written 19:58!!!

      Her entitlement mentally is nauseous!

      RIP to the dead.

      Delete

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