CLAIM: Yesterday June 18th, reports went viral claiming that former Oyo State Governor and senator, Abiola Ajimobi, who had remained COVID-19 positive two weeks after being admitted at the First Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Consultants Hospital, Lagos, has died at the age of 70.
POSTS: According to most of the reports, the ex-governor died in Lagos, due to underlying health conditions worsened by the Coronavirus.
Investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo was one of the first to break the news on Twitter, saying a source who has never failed him in 6 years, confirmed the news to him.
“A source who has never failed me in six years of knowing him has just confirmed to me the death, in Lagos today, of Abiola Ajimobi, former Governor of Oyo State, due to underlying health conditions worsened by the Coronavirus.
May his soul rest in peace.” he tweeted.
Popular blogger and public speaker, Japheth Omojuwa, Twitter influencer, Kevin Odanz and more also circulated the claim with their tweets;
“Covid19 has taken yet another big one in Nigeria. Sad sad one. Please stay safe people. This virus doesn’t discriminate, that you hear only about the death of the rich and powerful doesn’t mean the poor and the unknown aren’t dying.” Omojuwa tweeted.
“Former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi is dead. The system him and his friends helped build took his life, same with Abba Kyari. They will look up to Nigeria from whatever afterlife there is and wish they did better.” Kevin tweeted.
COUNTERCLAIMS: Barely one hour after the claim went viral, his daughter-in-law Fatima Ganduje-Ajimobi, his media aide Bolaji Tunji, Ovation magazine boss, Dele Momodu and more made posts confirming he was still alive and that the general public should disregard the claims.
“Thank you for all the messages but our father is still alive, alhamdulillah. When it is our time we will all die so wait first,” Fatima tweeted.
“Ignore the fake news about former Governor AJIMOBI’s rumored death!!!” Dele Momodu wrote.
Tunji, on his Facebook page, said the rumours circulating on the social media should be disregarded.
“My attention has been drawn to the rumours circulating on the social media about my principal. Kindly disregard. We, however, continue to pray for him. Thank you all for the show of concern.”. he wrote.
UPDATE: Investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, with a new update didn’t back down, as he continued insisting that his source says he former governor is gone.
“By the way, many of those tweeting ‘Ajimobi is alive’ have not seen or spoken to him since y/day. His supporters & aides at the hospital do not even have access to him.
The media aide who issued a rebuttal did it only after making phone calls; he himself has no firsthand info.
My source insists the former Governor is gone even though he still hasn’t been disconnected from life support.
I understand that other than placing him on life support, First Cardiology Consultants is “currently not doing anything else” on him.” he updated.
CONCLUSION: The claims making the rounds are FALSE, as there is no evidence to support the claim that the ex-governor who governed Oyo State for 8 years, and was recently appointed as the Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress by the National Working Committee of the party, is dead.
Ajimobi was a former Managing director at the National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company, a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum Company.