A delegation from the Oyo State government were prevented from entering the Oluyole residence of late former Oyo state governor Abiola Ajimobi, venue of the 8th day Fidau prayer for the deceased.
The delegation led by Oyo state deputy governor, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan, Barristers Abiodun Abdul-Raheem and Seun Ashamu, commissioners for land and energy respectively, were turned back at the venue by security operatives and it almost resulted in a confrontation.
According to The Nation, Engr. Olaniyan arrived the residence at about 11:20 am in a convoy of five vehicles. On getting to the gate of the road leading to Ajimobi’s residence, the convoy was stopped by policemen and members of other security agencies manning the gate. They insisted that only the deputy governor’s vehicle could be allowed into the street to join the prayer.
The publication added that deputy governor’s security details initially rebuffed the idea but when their argument was degenerating, a senior policeman intervened and they eventually agreed that only the deputy governor’s vehicle should go in.
But on getting to Ajimobi’s house, the gate was also locked. The deputy governor’s aides introduced their principal but they were told that the gate had been locked, and that Mrs Ajimobi was in possession of the key. Olaniyan waited, believing that the issue would be sorted in no time.
After waiting for about 15 minutes, however, without any positive development, Olaniyan left the residence.
Reacting, a spokesman for Ajimobi’s family said they were not informed that the deputy governor was coming.
The press statement, signed by Bolaji Tunji on behalf of the Ajimobi family, reads: “There is the need to clarify the believed presence of the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan at the 8th day prayer of HE Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the immediate past Governor of Oyo State.
“1. The Deputy Governor arrived after the prayer had started. The event was strictly a family affair.
“2. There was a need to comply with the Covid-19 protocol as established by NCDC- Social distancing, not more than 30 people in a place and seats arranged, accordingly. After which the gate was shut.
“3. No one was aware that the Deputy Governor was coming as neither the advance team nor the protocol informed us.
“4. By the time we got to the gate to usher him into the sitting room, he had left. Everything happened within a spate of 10mins.
“5. Through a serving Senator and a former Attorney General we tried to get in touch with him that it was not to slight him and he could sit in a private sitting room provided by the family. Unfortunately, he had left. We however apologise to his Excellency.