A spokesperson for Abiola Ajimobi has told PREMIUM TIMES the former Oyo State governor remained alive as of 9:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Bolaji Tunji said Nigerians should discard raging social media rumour that Mr Ajimobi had succumbed to coronavirus at an undisclosed hospital in Lagos.
PREMIUM TIMES has not been able to independently confirm Mr Ajimobi’s status beyond the account of his spokesperson.
Mr Ajimobi’s commissioner for information when he was governor, Toye Arulogun, also told this newspaper he had no information on his principal’s status.
The rumour, which earned rapid circulation on social media, said Mr Ajimobi had spent weeks in critical condition at a Lagos hospital after contacting the coronavirus.
The report came two days after the ruling All Progressives Congress named the former governor, who also once served as a senator from Oyo State, as its national chairman. The party has been engulfed in leadership tussle amidst multi-dimensional opposition to Adams Oshiomhole.
But Mr Tunji, a journalist who became Mr Ajimobi’s media aide at the twilight of his career, said Mr Ajimobi’s family insisted he was still alive as of the 9:00 p.m.
“I spoke with his family who are with him as of 9:00 p.m. and they said he is still alive,” Mr Tunji told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone at 9:07 p.m.
PREMIUM TIMES again called the spokesperson at 9:53 p.m. to confirm if he stood by his earlier position that his principal was still alive. He insisted the death was a rumour.
“Nigerians should continue to pray to God to preserve his life and let him live long,” Mr Tunji said while admitting the fragility of Mr Ajimobi’s health.