Claim: A viral message titled — Can this be described as mere coincidence? What has the figure 71 got to do with ex-Governors of Oyo State. What an irony? — has been trending on many social media and instant messaging platforms especially Whatsapp.
Verdict: The narrative is partly false. Ex-Governors Kolapo Ishola (77); Lamidi Adesina (73); Abiola Ajimobi (70) all died at different ages while Christopher Alao-Akala and Bola Ige died at 71 respectively.
Social media and instant messaging platforms is awash with a viral message that there is a sort of coincidence with some ex-Oyo Governors and former Justice Minister dying at 71. The bottom line of the message is that 71 is such a significant figure.
This viral message surfaced online amid the demise of former Governor Christopher Alao-Akala last Wednesday.
Alao-Akala’s death came as a rude shock to many sympathisers and political associates.
He served as Oyo Deputy Governor from May 2003 to January 2006.
Following the impeachment of the Governor (Rashidi Ladoja), Alao-Akala was sworn into office in January 2006 and served for 11 months. In December 2006, the impeachment was overturned by the Supreme Court and Rashidi Ladoja was reinstated.
Alao-Akala later contested and won the governorship election in 2007 under the platform of the PDP and became Governor from May 29- May 2011.
The viral message reads:
“Can this be described as mere coincidence? What has the figure 71 got to do with ex-Governors of Oyo State. What an irony? Now read this;
Kolapo Ishola died aged 71.
Lamidi Adesina died at 71
Ajimobi Isiaka died aged 71
Alao Akala died aged 71.
“Each one of them were governors of Oyo State at one time or the other. Am l a pessimist?
“Ooops, l skipped this. Chief Bola Ige was born Sept 13, 1930 and died (or assassinated) December 23, 2001. He was also governor of old Oyo State. Guess what? He died at age 71.”
On WhatsApp, many ignorantly shared and shared the message on groups, and to individual contacts as this is indicated with the “forwarded many times” tag on the viral message.
Some handles also tweeted and retweeted the viral message on Twitter.
Several Facebook users also shared the posts on their timelines.
To ascertain the veracity of the now-viral message, this correspondent sought after the biographies of the ex-Governors and former Justice Minister Ige. Also, news reports from credible outlets provided the right information about their various age before their deaths.
Checks by our correspondent revealed the following facts:
Former governor Kolapo Ishola died at 77 in August 2011.
Former Governor Lamidi Adesina died at 73 in November 2012.
Former Governor Abiola Ajimobi was 70 when he died in June 2020.
Former Governor Christopher Alao-Akala died at 71 in January 2021.
Former Minister of Justice, Bola Ige died at 71. He was shot dead in his home in Ibadan on December 23, 2001.
The now-viral narrative trending on social media platforms that Ex-governors Kolapo Ishola, Lamidi Adesina, Abiola Ajimobi, Adebayo Alao-Akala and Bola Ige all died at the age of 71 is partly false.