Abiola Isiaka Ajimobi was born on 16 December 1949 to the political Ajimobi family at Oja-Oba, Ibadan. He completed his primary education at Ibadan City Council Primary School, Aperin. His secondary education was at Lagelu Grammar School. At the tertiary level, he studied Business Administration and Finance at the State University of New York, in Buffalo, New York. He obtained an MBA in Operations Research and Marketing (Finance) at Governors State University, Illinois. Consequently, he was engaged in Buffalo, New York as a state-certified underwriter, by Equitable Life Assurance Corporation, which was then the 2nd largest Insurance Company in America.
Ajimobi returned to Nigeria in 1977 and joined Management and Industrial Consulting firm as a Senior Consultant. Thereafter, he worked briefly with an architecture firm, Modulor Group as the Finance and Admin Controller. He moved on to Nestle Foods PLC as the Operations Controller and later as Marketing Controller. In 1979, he joined National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company as the Consumer Products Manager as the youngest Manager to occupy the said position. His was soon promoted to Divisional Manager within a year and a half as the youngest Divisional Manager as well. Again, he was promoted to head the Corporate Credit division and later deployed to Ibadan Business District as the Area Manager. In 1980, Ajimobi married Florence Ajimobi and they have five children. His first daughter is luxury-lifestyle entrepreneur, Abisola Kola-Daisi.
In 1987, he built the company’s first 3 in 1 and the largest petrol station retail outlet in Nigeria. In the same year, he was appointed the Lubricants Manager desired by Shell International Oil Company. Later, he was moved to manage the aviation department. And subsequently posted to Shell International storage company of Togo, serving the whole of West Africa as Chief Executive. He also was the Operations Director of Shell Marketing Company in Togo covering some West African countries.
Ajimobi returned to Nigeria in 1995 and was appointed in 1996 as Oil Sales Manager. In 1998, he was appointed to the board of the company as Executive director- Marketing, a position he held before his appointment on February 2001, as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company. In 2003, he voluntarily retired after 26 years of service in the Oil industry to become a Senator of the Republic of Nigeria.
He was a principal officer in the Senate, serving as the Deputy Minority leader of the Senate. During his senate days, in 2005, he established the first and the largest Free Vocational Training centre, in Oyo State. In 2007, he contested the gubernatorial election under the umbrella of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but lost the election bid. He contested again in 2011 under the All Progressive Congress and was elected in a heated election.
As the incumbent, he contested for a second term in an election that took place on April 11, 2015. He contested under the All Progressive Congress (APC) for a second time against 2 of his predecessors in office, Christopher Alao Akala and Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja. Upon his re-election into office as the Governor, he became the first person to occupy the highest seat twice and in a row.
On 2 June 2020, Ajimobi was admitted to First Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Consultants Hospital in Lagos, with complications from the COVID-19. He died on 25 June 2020 at exactly 3:45 pm after a week on life support machine, at the age of 70.