…Oyo govt refutes allegation
…As late ex-gov is buried amid tight security
By Ola Ajayi & Deola Badru
WIFE of the former Governor of Oyo State, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, yesterday, accused the Oyo State government of playing politics with her husband’s death.
She also accused Governor Seyi Makinde of not calling her or paying a condolence visit to her since the death of her husband last Thursday.
She said this on a day her husband’s remains were laid to rest amid tight security at his Oluyole residence at 10:05 am on yesterday.
Earlier, there was a heated controversy over where the former governor should be buried.
Vanguard gathered that the Oyo State Government was reportedly reluctant in allowing the Ajimobi family to bury the body at Agodi GRA due to a pending court case.
Ajimobi’s widow flays Oyo govt
The widow of the former governor advised the governor to avoid playing politics with the death of her husband.
Ajimobi said: “I read in the newspapers a few days ago that the governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, claimed to call me and I didn’t pick up, he never visited Ajimobi’s family since my husband was admitted in the hospital, neither has he sent anyone nor sent us a message.
“I don’t have his contact and I have never spoken to him. Even if he called me and I didn’t pick up because of my mourning state, he could have sent me a message.
“Ajimobi’s family is not competing with him in any way, we are all working for the growth, development and progress of Oyo State, although our party might be different, we are working for the same goal.
“Do I need to send an official message to the governor to inform him about the death of my husband before he could send us a condolence message or pay us a condolence visit? It is not pleasant to hearings. What kind of politics are we playing?
“As a former public chief servant, who had assiduously served this state, he deserved some honours and not a show of shame when he had gone to rest. He never planned to go this soon; he could be anybody as no one knows the next moment.”
Ajimobi buried amid tight security
Earlier, the remains of the former governor were interred, yesterday, amid tight security.
The family had informed the general public that the remains of the former governor would be taken to his Oke-Ado mosque and his Oja-Oba family house.
But the story was different when Vanguard observed that some Islamic clerics, who performed the burial in Islamic rite, moved out of his house after the burial. Few journalists were allowed near the graveside of the former governor as part of the COVID-19 protocols.
At noon, prayers were later offered at the Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi Mosque, Oke-Ado, Ibadan
Clerics at the burial included Alhaji Kunle Saani, Sheik Muideen Bello, Chief Imam of Ibadan land, Shik Abubakri Abdleganiyu Agbotomokekere, among others.
Fayemi, Ganduje, Bagudu, Abubakar pay tribute
Meanwhile, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi, paid a condolence visit to the family of the former governor.
Speaking on behalf of the governors, Fayemi, sympathised and prayed with the family to Almighty God for the repose of the deceased soul.
Other governors, who visited include Umar Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi) and Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa).
Burial still in line with Islamic injunction
Some Islamic clerics have said burying Ajimobi four days after was still in line with Islamic injunction.
Speaking with Vanguard on the delay in the burial, an aide to the Chief Imam of Ibadan, AbdulFatai Alaga, said if there was an issue that delayed the burial, it could be put on hold but must not exceed the third day.
Another Islamic cleric, AbdulFatai Mohammed and Waheed Adebayo, noted that: “If the person died in the morning, he could be buried at 2 pm or 4 pm on that same day. But, if that person died at night or morning, he can be buried between 2 and 4 pm.”
Oyo govt denies allegations
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government had denied insinuations that it was responsible for the delay in burying the immediate past governor.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the insinuations amounted to a wicked lie.
The statement read: “In view of the intense enquiries from news media organisations regarding the perceived delay in burying the late former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Oyo State Government wishes to place on record that there is no truth in the rumour making the rounds that the burial is being delayed by the state government.”
“The rumour, which is being deliberately spread to give the state government a bad name and to play undue politics with the dead, initially came by the way of social media gossip, which gained traction to attract the attention of traditional media outfits.
“Several media outfits reached out to the Media Office of the Governor of Oyo State to make enquiries on this barefaced lie on Saturday.
“Let it be stated clearly that the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has played no role at all in causing any delay whatsoever regarding the burial of his immediate predecessor, Senator Ajimobi.
“The truth of the matter is that the family, through a proxy, approached the state government and sought approval to bury the late governor on a plot of land at Agodi GRA, which is currently under litigation.
“Incidentally, it was the same former Governor Ajimobi who instituted the legal action.
“Governor Seyi Makinde had no choice than to state the facts as they are to the emissaries and turn down the request.
“Governor Makinde, however, against the established land use rule in Oyo State, gave approval that the family can bury the late governor in his Oluyole Estate residence.
“It is to be noted that the rules guiding land use in Government Reservation Areas (GRA) forbid the burial of bodies in such locations as Oluyole Estate and Agodi GRA.
“Let us also put on record that whereas the family did not follow the laid down protocols in passing information on the sickness and eventual demise of Senator Ajimobi, Governor Makinde overlooked all that and directed the full cooperation of the government with the family on this matter.
“It can only amount to a wicked lie to insinuate that the incumbent government in Oyo State attempted to obstruct the burial of the immediate past governor.”