The Oyo State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, has narrated how he and some officials were barred from entering the venue of the eighth day Islamic prayer for the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how a delegation of the Oyo State Government led by Mr Olaniyan, including the commissioner for land, Abiodun Abdul-Raheem, and his energy counterpart, Seun Ashamu, were turned back from entering the venue of the prayer at the Oluyole residence of late Mr Ajimobi on Sunday.
Security officials at the venue resisted Mr Olaniyan’s efforts to enter and almost engaged in open confrontation with security details attached to him.
Mr Olaniyan and the two commissioners left the venue after making frantic calls to people believed to close to the family.
Mr Ajimobi’s spokesperson, Bolaji Tunji, has since released a statement saying the Oyo State delegation arrived late, the event was a family affair, and the family was not told Mr Olaniyan was coming.
But, Mr Olaniyan in a statement made available to journalists by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Omolere Omoetan, narrated his version of the event.
He said the decision to bar him from entering the venue was premeditated.
He also frowned at what he called the unprofessional conduct of some police officers at the venue of the prayer.
Read the statement from the Oyo deputy governor below.
“Again, some members and aides of the former Oyo State governor Abiola Ajimobi continues to rebuff the hand of fellowship extended to the family of the late Governor by the government of Oyo State led by His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde.
“Today at the 8th day Fidau Prayers of the former Governor Oyo State Isaika Ajimobi, the Deputy Governor, Engr Rauf Olaniyan, was denied access to the venue of the event.
“The Deputy governor who led the government delegation comprising himself and some commissioners, on the approval of the governor, was kept waiting at the gate for over 15 minutes. Even when security men at the gate went in to tell them he was at the gate, no directive came back to grant his Excellency access.
“At a point, the security personnel in uniform and mufti at the gates became very hostile and the ADC to the Deputy Governor was manhandled by men of the police force. It was at this point that the Deputy Governor decided to leave the scene that was becoming tense and wait in his car.
“Having waited for a while to see if the situation would change to no avail, he proceeded to take his leave.
“It should be noted that the Deputy Governor put a call through to Alhaji Kunle Sanni, Chairman of Oyo State Muslim Council, who was among the officiating ministers, that he was at the gate and was being denied entrance. Alhaji Sanni responded that his hands were tied. This is clear indication that what transpired was premeditated.
“There was no truth in the family saying they were not aware that the state government delegation was at the gate because Mr Bolaji Tunji was severally called by men of Civil defence at the gate.
“Even if the Deputy Governor arrived when the prayers had started, it is a well known fact in Islam that when prayers are on-going and a male walks in, it’s an indication that the prayers have received Allah’s acceptance.
“However, Engr Raufu Olaniyan wishes to re-iterate that the visit of the government delegation to the 8th day Fidau Prayers of His Excellency Senator Isaika Ajimobi was a clear demonstration on the part of His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde, that the late Governor is held in high regard. He stated that it was only fitting for the state government to show respect to the late governor at the Fidau prayers held in his honour.
“The Deputy Governor also wishes to put it on record that despite the way he was treated by the Ajimobi family, which he refuses to hold personal, has displayed maturity is prerequisite of the public office at this level. He holds no grudges and he will continue to pray that Allah grants the departed former Governor Al-Jana Firdaus.
“Engr. Raufu Olaniyan will also like to draw the attention of the Oyo state Commissioner of Police to the highly unprofessional and unruly conduct of the police personnel at the premises.”
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