The Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Sunday described the late Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Isiaka Ajimobi as an ultimate bridge builder whose abilities made him unique among his contemporaries.
Governor Fayemi made this known on Sunday while speaking with newsmen on behalf of the visitors after signing the condolence register at the Oluyole residence of the deceased in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He said, “Every death diminishes us. Not least the death of a person that radiated support, peace, sacrifice and commitment, not just to our party but to our people. He governed this state for eight years and there is a sense in which you could describe him as the architect of modern Oyo State.
“I am not only the Chairman of our Governors Forum who is here with his colleagues, I am also an Ibadan resident, so I know this state since my birth. I was born here and I grew up here and I know this place like the back of my hands. So, I can tell you without any shadow of doubt that he was one of the very best as a governor in this state.
“But, that is not what sells him to the generality of his brothers. It is his unique characters. He was an ultimate bridge builder, he was a connector at all times. He was an adviser to us all, he was always seeking a way to pull people together, tppo organise a better country, to build bridges across divides. That is what many of us will remember him for.
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“As a member of the delegation of governors that have come to honour him, honour his family and his memory, we know that it will be very difficult for us to fill the gap that he occupied in our party. As someone that we could always call upon to help build a more peaceful, a more purposeful, a more result oriented party and he excelled in the private sector and excelled in the public sector.
“He was one person who successfully demystified the notion that technocrats are not good in politics. He was a technocrat, rose to the highest level in his profession as the Managing Director of an oil and gas company, he served as a legislature, as a senator before ending up as a governor and in all capacities, he was able to demonstrate the courage of his conviction. He was able to demonstrate that leadership is sacrifice and service to the people ultimately.
“And he was able to demonstrate that you can be a public figure and at the same time be a private person. He dotted on his family. He loved his children. He worked hard for his state and he was a nationalist to the core and unapologetic federalist.
“So, for us, we shall miss him greatly and the party definitely owns him a duty to continue to walk in the way that he very much exemplified as a leader in our party. A peaceful man to the core, a purposeful man. A bridge builder and a committed nationalist and may his soul rest in peace,” Fayemi said.