Abiola Ajimobi was born on 16 December 1949 to the Ajimobi of Ibadan at Oja-Oba, Ibadan. It was a political family. His grandfather was Sobaloju of Ibadan Land (a chief in the royal court of Ibadan). His uncle, Hon. N.A. Ajimobi was minister of works and transport in the Western Region.
His father, Pa Ajimobi, was also an Honourable member of the House of Assembly in the Old Western region. He started his education at Saint Patricks Primary School, Oke-Padre in Ibadan. He completed his primary education at Ibadan City Council Primary School, Aperin. His secondary education was at Lagelu Grammar School. As a high school student he was active in athletics, table tennis, and football including serving as the school’s games prefect.
Abiola Ajumobi university education was in the United States of America, where he studied Business Administration and Finance at the State University of New York, in Buffalo, New York graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. His MBA was in Operations Research and Marketing with a concentration in Finance at Governors State University, University Park, Illinois. As a result of his academic credentials and excellent performance at the New York Insurance examinations, he was engaged in Buffalo, New York as a state certified underwriter, by Equitable Life Assurance Corporation, which was then the 2nd largest Insurance Company in America.
Ajimobi returned to Nigeria in 1977 and joined Management and Industrial Consulting firm as a Senior Consultant. Ajimobi thereafter worked briefly with Modulor Group (an architectural firm) as the Finance and Admin Controller, before joining Nestle Foods PLC. as the Operations Controller and later as Marketing Controller. In 1979, he joined National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company as the Consumer Products Manager. Ajimobi was the youngest Manager to occupy such a sensitive position. His performance quickly earned him promotion to the level of Divisional Manager within one and a half years. Thus becoming the youngest Divisional Manager to be thus appointed.
Ajimobi was later promoted to head a newly created Corporate Credit division reporting directly to the Managing director. As a top flyer in the company and based on his problem solving ability he was deployed to Ibadan Business District as the Area Manager to ensure the repositioning of the company’s entire activities in the area.
The Company and the district experienced landmark achievements in its modern retail network resulting. In 1987, he built the company’s first 3 in 1 and the largest petrol station retail outlet in Nigeria. The district office built during his tenure still stands out today in Jericho, Ibadan.
In 1987, based on a worldwide international strategic positioning of the lubricants business desired by Shell International Oil Company, he was appointed the Lubricants Manager. Ajimobi successfully built a new Lubricant division which became the most profitable business of the company and the largest contributor to the corporate profit. Having completed the strategic repositioning of the Lubricants department, he was moved to manage another troubled business arm- the aviation department.
By 1993, he had acquired broad exposure in virtually all the marketing arms of the company. As part of the grooming programme he was posted on an international assignment to Shell International storage company of Togo, serving the whole of West Africa as Chief Executive. He also was the Operations Director of Shell Marketing Company in Togo covering some West African countries.
Ajimobi returned to Nigeria in 1995 and was appointed in 1996 as Oil Sales Manager. In 1998, he was appointed to the board of the company as Executive director- Marketing, a position he held before his appointment on February 2001, as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company. As Managing Director he substantially improved the profitability of the company and the shareholders fortune. In 2003, he voluntarily retired after 26 years of service in the Oil industry.
In his successful professional career spanning a period of over three decades, Abiola Ajimobi was quick witted and positively impacted on the businesses and people he interacted with.
In 2003, he became a Senator of the Republic of Nigeria. He was a principal officer in the Senate, serving as the Deputy Minority leader of the Senate.
During his senate days, in 2005, he established the first and the largest FREE VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTER, in Oyo State. This Center has been recognized and certified both as a partner and training center by the Industrial Training Fund of the Federal Government.
In 2007, he contested the gubernatorial election under the umbrella of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) but lost the election bid. He contested again in 2011 under the All Progressive Congress and was elected in a keenly contested election.
As the incumbent, he contested for a second term in an election that took place on April 11, 2015. He contested under the All Progressive Congress (APC) for a second time against 2 of his predecessors in office, Christopher Alao Akala and Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja and was listed by The Punch Newspaper as one of the 4 candidates contesting in the election.
In the event of his re-election into office as the Governor, he achieved a remarkable feet by becoming the first person to occupy the highest seat twice and as well in succession . He was declared the winner of the Oyo State gubernatorial election by the Independent Electoral Commission.
Death of Abiola Ajumobi
The Lagos State Government has given details of the death of the former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, who died on Thursday 25 June 2020. Giving details of the ex-governor’s death on Friday, Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said he died from multiple organ failure.
Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said: “We regret the death of immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajumobi who passed on today, June 25, 2020 at First Cardiologist Consultant; a private COVID-19 approved care facility in Lagos State. The former Governor died from multiple organs failure following complications from COVID-19 infection.”
- Abiola Ajimobi Biography and Profile (Abiola Ajimobi)