Balogun Ajikobi dies at 72


…scheduled to travel to Umrah, tomorrow

…his last moments, unfulfilled dreams

By Ahmed Ajikobi

The ancient city of Ilorin was yesterday thrown into mourning following the passing of one of the foremost chiefs, Balogun Ajikobi, Alhaji Muhammed Issah Jimoh died at the age of 72 after a brief illness.

Issah, who is the 11th Balogun Ajikobi of Ilorin, was said to be eating dinner on Tuesday when he suddenly coughed sporadically and was rushed to a hospital where he later gave up the ghost around 4am on yesterday.

Balogun Ajikobi was scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia tomorrow (Friday) on Umrah (lesser hajj) alongside other Baloguns having completed his travelling arrangements before death struck.

Balogun Ajikobi and his colleagues were to join the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu Gambari in Saudi Arabia for the lesser hajj rights.

The deceased reigned for six years having succeeded Alhaji Usman Baba Olobi on January 27, 2012. He was assistant comptroller of Immigration and served until 2006 when he retired in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He occupied the position of Daudu Ipaye village for three years before he ascended the role of Balogun Ajikobi.

Speaking on the last moments of Balogun Ajikobi, one of his sons, Yusuf Jimoh told National Pilot that the deceased called all the children on Monday and prayed fervently for them.

“When he offered to pray for us all, it was kind of strange and the situation got us all worried.

“Daddy even accompanied me to the motor park on my way to Ekiti State where I am currently serving as a corps member. Before now, he will rather send his driver to drop us off. He even waited till the car I boarded took off and when I got to Ekiti, I called him that I have safely arrived my destination.

“However, I got a call yesterday (Tuesday) that baba is seriously ill and that came as a surprise to me because he showed no sign of illness before I left Ilorin.”

Similarly, another son of the traditional leader, Ismail Jimoh, described his father as friendly and one who wished to see all his children through school.

“He allowed every member of the community easy access to his room and Baba will give out whatever he has to anyone who visited him.

“He even secured university admissions for several members of the community through his friend, Prof. Abdulganiy Ambali.

“Also, if there is vacancy in any organisation, Baba will use his connection to secure jobs for his people. He was a man who preached peace throughout his lifetime,” the son said.

Reacting to the passing of Balogun Ajikobi, in a message signed by his media aide, Azeez Arowona, the Emir, described the deceased as a very loyal, articulate and visionary traditional chief who was passionate about the development of Ilorin Emirate and humanity at large.

 “His contributions to the growth and development of the Emirate will not be forgotten so soon due to his display of sterling qualities and enthusiasm in his conducts as a foremost traditional chief and community leader,” the Emir stated even as he prayed Allah to grant him forgiveness and admit him into paradise and give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

The Janazat for the deceased which took place 2:30pm was led by the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Muhammed Bashir.

Among the roll call of people who turned up for the Janazat are; the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Kwara North Senatorial District, Alh. Isiaka Oniwa, the state chairman of the party, Alh. Ishola Balogun-Fulani, Magaji Are, Alh. Aremu Subair, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, National Pilot Newspaper, Alhaji Billy Adedamola, former chief press secretary to the former state governor, Alhaji Mas’ud Adebinpe, Kwara State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Com. Abiodun Abdulkareem, among others.Balogun Ajikobi is survived by two wives; Alhaja Memunat and Halimat Issa and nine children.

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