Funeral rites for the former Oyo State governor and Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, have been rescheduled for Saturday.
A family source had earlier informed that the burial would hold on Friday in Ibadan, in accordance with Islamic rites.
Sympathisers started arriving Ajimobi’s residence in Oluyole Estate, Ibadan South West Local Government Area of the state as early as 7am, but were told that the burial would not hold as earlier planned for reasons not disclosed.
However, the spokesperson for the late former governor, Bolaji Tunji, told reporters that the family would soon make an announcement on his boss’ burial programme.
“The funeral arrangements will be announced soon by the family, but it will be observed privately so as to be in accordance with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines,” Tunji said.
He appealed to sympathisers, who have been thronging Ajimobi’s residence, to continue to observe NCDC guidelines by washing their hands, using face mask, and keeping social distancing, among others.
Meanwhile, prominent politicians, including former governor Rashidi Ladoja and Alhaji Sharafadeen Alli, a former Secretary to the State Government, have joined in mourning Ajimobi.
Ladoja and Alli in their separate statements, described Ajimobi’s death as a great loss to the family, state and Nigeria.
Ladoja in his statement signed by his Media Aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, described the death of the immediate past governor as a great loss to his family and the entire state.
The Ibadan high Chief said that the late Ajimobi contributed his quota to the development of the state and Nigeria.
“Late Abiola Ajimobi after a successful career at National Oil now Conoil PLC served as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for 4 years before serving as governor of the state for eight years,” he said.
Similarly, Alli in his statement, described the death of Ajimobi as a great loss to the state and Nigeria.
The former governorship candidate of Zenith Labour Party in the state also said that the late Ajimobi contributed his quota to the development of the state and Nigeria.
Alli prayed that Almighty Allah grant the deceased eternal rest and the people as well as his immediate family, fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, All Progressives Congress Caucus of the House of Representatives has described the death of the Ajimobi as a great loss to Oyo State and Nigeria at large.
In a statement by Hon. Dokun Odebunmi, the caucus said, “We received with shock and disbelieve the news of demise of our great leader, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. It’s indeed a sad news and a bitter pill to swallow.
“He was to us like a father, a benefactor and a role model, whose legacies would continue to live behind him.
“Senator Ajimobi during his lifetime was a pathfinder and an architect of the oyo state who as a governor restore the lost glory of the state and place it on a new path of glory setting pace for others to follow.
“We cannot but accept that his demise is the will of Almighty Allah and we pray that Allah Grant him eternal rest. While consoling the family and the APC in the country, the lawmakers pray that God will grant his immediate, extended and political family the grace to bear the irreparable loss.”
Legal luminary and politician, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), described the death of the former governor as a colossal loss,not only to Nigeria, but the entire Black race in the global community.
Akintola said in a condolence message made available to journalists in Ibadan by his Personal Assistant, Prince Olumuyiwa Akinbiyi, that Ajimobi would never be forgotten in the history of mankind as one of the finest Africans, who did his best to change the face of leadership and public administration in the 21st century.