By Kolade Larewaju, Abeokuta
Remains of the slain Action Congress governorship candidate forÂ the 2007 elections in Ogun State was ,Friday, laid to rest at his country home, â€œEndurance Gardenâ€ in Ijebu-Ode after an interdenominational service at Chris Ogunbanjo praying ground.
Among the huge crowd at the service were Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, former governors Bola Tinubu [Lagos], Olusegun Osoba [Ogun] Niyi Adebayo [Ekiti] Lam Adesina [Oyo] and two former Deputy Governors in Ogun State, Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye and Adegbenga Kaka in attendance.
However, the burial took a dramatic dimension as members of the party practically chased away from the venue, the Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaja Salmot Badru and the Secretary to the State Government [SS], Mr. Adegbemi Onakoya.
The angry members of the AC sang songs and insisted that the two representatives of Governor Olugbenga Daniel must leave the Chris Ogunbanjo Playing Ground, venue of the Interdenominational Funeral Service for the slain politician before the programme could commence.
Efforts of former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu and former governor ofÂ Ogun State counterpart, Chief Olusegun Osoba to pacify the apparently bitter AC members yielded no result forcing the two representatives of Daniel to immediately take their leave of the venue.
Trouble started for the duo when they arrived the venue at about 10.25 am were sighted as arrangements were been made for them to take their seats before for the commencement of the service.
But the Ogun State Government in its reaction lamented as â€œMost unfortunate incident which the delegation it sent to the burial of Otunba Dipo Dina in Ijebu-Ode was forced to go through in the hands of some cowardly persons.
The Statement signed by Chief Press Secretary to Governor Daniel, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo said â€œwe are not however completely surprised by the antics of this few persons who resorted to the desecration of a solemn occasion in the name of politics. Prior to and on the day of the burial we noticed some patently inciting comments and advertorial sponsored by some leaders of the Action Congress, AC.
Former Governors Tinubu and Osoba immediately began to try to pacify the angry crowd but with little effect prompting the apparently embarrassed the representatives of the Governor who decided to leave at 10.35 am.
Booing the two government officials as they were leaving the venue, the crowd insisted that they were not invited to the burial alleging that the state government hounded late Dipo Dina until his death.
At that stage, former Governor Tinubu then took the microphone and appealed to the crowd to remain calm as he was speaking for Governors Osoba and Niyi Adebayo [Ekiti] who were seated at the burial service when the appearance of the Daniel representatives inflamed the crowd.
Tinubu said, â€œwe should be calm. What you are saying and what you want, we agree. But you have to be calm. You have said they should leave and they have left. We are older than Dipo Dina, yet we are here. We know how you feel. We should be peaceful. But this is the last they would do, I can assure you.â€
â€œThe delegation led by the Deputy Governor of Ogun State Alhaja Salmot Badru, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Adegbemi Onakoya, the Chairman of Ijebu Ode local Government, Giwa Mufutau Oseni, and Chairman of Ijebu North East Local Government, Otunba (Mrs.) Remi Ogunkoya Odubote was subjected to series of verbal attacks by some persons in the crowd who were obviously acting on the prompting of certain individuals with ignoble agenda.
â€œThe level of the uncouth behavior of this hired thugs masquerading as mourners was such that the delegation had to withdraw from the burial service in the interest of peace and in honor of the departed one.
â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, the governor and government of Ogun State have nothing whatsoever to do with the condemnable act.Â We restate that the government of Ogun State is not involved in the murder of Otunba Dipo Dina.â€
The funeral service subsequently commenced at about 10.45am when the corpse was brought in.Â In his sermon, Bishop of the United African Methodist Church Ebute-Metta Circuit, Lagos Rt. Revd. Jacob Ojo_Oba noted that there were evil forces working in the world adding that only those with the power of Jesus would wear the crown of Glory.