A fresh report by PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, 25th June announced the passage of Mr Abiola Ajimobi. The two-time former Governor of Oyo State, passed on Thursday, at a private hospital in Lagos for coronavirus disease complications.
Mr Ajimobi’s passing came a week after we debunked rumours of his death [see below]. His passage, after that of Mr. Abba Kyari, President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, makes the second high profile incidence in two months.
Circulating news reports alongside media pages claim that the former Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, died after a brief illness in Lagos.
The Guild’s publication which reported on the death of Senator Ajimobi is inaccurate. Both the Senator’s media aide and reputable news platforms attest to the fact that he is still alive.
The post in question affirmed that Senator Ajimobi died on Thursday, June 18th, 2020 at the First Cardiology Consultant, a high-brow heart hospital in Ikoyi, on the Southwest end of Lagos, after some illness. Since then, the news has generated a groundswell of controversy both on social media platforms and other news sites.
On Twitter, for instance, a tweet by @MrOdanz, supporting the claim that Senator Ajimobi is dead, generated over 512 comments, 1,600 retweets and 3,700 likes. Meanwhile, a similar post made by ‘Secret reporters news’ on Facebook generated 128 reactions, 61 comments, and 46 shares.
Conversely, one user with significant traction provided a contrary opinion that ‘Ajimobi is still alive’.
Though some have already taken sides on the matter, a tweet by @phamouss_lolu and @Ola_yide, alongside numerous others, signals a simmering confusion amongst readers regarding the credibility of the story.
However, this is not the first time Dubawa had to investigate the validity of a death claim over a prominent person. The late chief of Staff Mr Abba Kyari also generated such contention over his death. Our findings eventually proved that the contention was at best a baseless exercise.
Claims around Senator Ajimobi’s mortality, therefore, fall in line with what seems to be a past time of individuals preoccupied with generating controversy around celebrities and important personages. Such voyeurism, reported by Vanguard, was disclaimed by PREMIUM TIMES and the Punch’s recent reports, affirming that Mr Ajimobi had indeed earned a new status as the acting chairman of the All Progressives Congress.
Seeing that the report in question has neglected to reveal its source, only stating, ‘a close source from the Oyo state house,’ we began narrowing down our search for the truth of the claim. First, we reached out to the blog site that shared the news, but to no avail. The Oyo State House neither responded to our emails nor returned our numerous calls.
In the same vein, we contacted the hospital in question, The First Cardiologist Consultant Lagos. In a short reply, via a phone call, they stated that: “there is nothing about the information that truly relates to us”.
Next, we contacted the most accessible proximate source, Mr Tunji Bolaji, media aid to Senator Ajimobi. However, he responded via a text message on Saturday 20 June 2020 at 4:33 pm, confirming that the senator is still alive. He further urged the public to disregard the information and pray for the senator’s recovery.
Similarly, the daughter-in-law of the senator, Fatima Ganduje-Ajimobi, shared a tweet to reaffirm the wellbeing of her father-in-law.
So far, there is no reason to believe there is any truth to the claim about Senator Ajimobi’s death. According to family members and authoritative media reporting and other close sources to the former governor have continued to confirm that he is alive. We will update readers, should there be more news about the condition of the former governor of Oyo State.