Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has reminisced on the strong support and prayers of his late mother, Alhaja Dhkirat Ajimobi, during his tortuous journey to the Agodi Government House, starting with the controversial 2007 governorship election.
Until he won the 2011 governorship poll, he said that his mother had always wished that he became governor, adding that she would always pray that she would not have minded if his inauguration ceremony as governor turned out to be the last event she witnessed before her death.
Ajimobi shared the moving story with dignitaries and well-wishers that converged on the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, for the fifth anniversary of the death of his mother, on Tuesday.
The matriarch of the popular Ajimobi family of Oja Oba, Ibadan, died in 2012 at the age of 85, barely one year after the governor took the oath of office as the number one citizen of the state.
Not minding the tumult and violence that attended the 2007 governorship election, as well as his failure to upturn its outcome at the Court of Appeal, he said that the mother did not relent in her prayers that he became governor.
He disclosed that the mother could not hide her joy on their way home after his inauguration as governor in 2011 as he told him that she had become fulfilled and would be prepared to meet her creator anytime from then.
Ajimobi said, “My mother was always wishing and praying that I actualize my dream of becoming Oyo State governor despite her strong aversion to political violence that was widespread during the 2007 general election.
“She would tell me to leave everything to God and be extra careful. Even after the 2007 governorship election, she was giving me psychological support until I won the 2011 contest.
“She was a proud and happy mother on the day of my inauguration, which God gave her the privilege to witness. On our way home, she said ‘today I’m so happy as this is the height of joy for me. If death comes tomorrow, I’m ready.’ But God, in His infinite mercy, gave her one extra year.”
The governor used the occasion to call on the people to care for their aged parents and to move closer to God, whom he said was always on hand to assuage the suffering and pains of the just, cheated and oppressed.
According to him, with tenacity and trust in God, no mountain would be too high to climb for a true worshipper and believer in God.
The Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyu Abubakar, who led special prayers for the repose of the soul of the deceased, urged the people to always consider the future in whatever they did.
The Imam of the Government House mosque, Sheik Rufai Bello; Chairman of Oyo State Pilgrim Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Alhaji Taofeek Akeugbagold; and Imam Atanda Bada, also led special prayers for Ajimobi, the government, and the deceased family.
A popular Islamic preacher, Sheikh Muyideen Bello, who delivered the sermon at the event, urged the people to be good to their parents when alive, stressing that there was a spiritual connection between good deeds done to parents and the people’s success in life.
According to him, the act of doling out arms by people in memory of their dead parents was not acceptable to God and would not be rewarded.
He said, “I have seen people giving out alms after the death of their parents. This is not acceptable to God. The right almsgiving is not when you organise a party and feed people or when you serve cake in your community. It is not ideal.
“The right almsgiving after the death of your parents is when you provide, for instance, a borehole or well for a particular community that lacks water and you inscribe your parent’s name on the wall.
“You can also reconstruct a collapsed bridge in the name of your deceased parents. In the seven days of your life, that is Sunday to Saturday, endeavour to be good so that you will be remembered for those good deeds when you die.”
On hand to rejoice with the governor were a former military governor of Ogun and Lagos States, Brig.-Gen Raji Rasaki; Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Makanjuola Akinola; and the new President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Adeyemi Soladoye.
The event was also attended by members of Olubadan-in-Council, including Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Senator Lekan Balogun; Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Olakulein; Osi Balogun, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola; Asipa Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole; Asipa Balogun, High Chief Lateef Adebimpe, and Ekarun Balogun, High Chief Kola Akingbola.
The roll call included Agba-Akin Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi; an industrialist, Chief Bode Amao; an oil magnate, Alhaji Lateef Oyelade; former Minister of Industry and President of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chief Onikepo Akande; State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Akin Oke.