Bolaji Tunji, the special adviser on communication and strategy to the late ex-Governor Abiola Ajimobi has penned a tribute for his late boss revealing how the politician made a journey of no-return from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital. He said it was during that fateful trip that Mr Ajimobi took ill and did not recover. The immediate past governor of Oyo State was until his death the deputy national chairman (South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
It was just like yesterday. He (Abiola Ajimobi) 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 shift to Abuja.
“We will leave by 2.00 pm,” he said that fateful day. A special private flight had been arranged for him.
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. He had taken care of everything. He had signed all the letters of appointment for the peace and reconciliation committee.
He never wanted anything else after the general election. He only wanted to take a long, due rest after serving for 8 years without break. But another position was thrust on him. He never solicited for it and he did not want it. But they convinced him to accept. I know because he narrated how it happened. He took the positions 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. Everything happened within a month.
Did we see this coming? No. Not this. Not that you would go so soon. Were there signs? Yes. From the unlikeliest of sources. But not like this. Not to death.