The Oyo State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, was on Sunday prevented from entering the venue of eighth day Islamic ‘Firdau’ prayer for the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi.
Mr Ajimobi who died from coronavirus complications was buried last Sunday in Ibadan, the state capital.
Mr Ajimobi, who led the state as governor for eight years, was elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) while the current governor, Seyi Makinde, is a member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The state government and the Ajimobi family have been trading blames over the management of Mr Ajimobi’s illness and burial.
Florence Ajimobi, Mr Ajimobi’s wife, had expressed disappointment at what she said was the poor treatment of her husband and his family by the Oyo government.
On Sunday, a delegation of the Oyo State government led by Mr Olaniyan, 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 Mr Ajimobi.
Security details attached to the venue resisted Mr Olaniyan’s efforts to enter the venue and almost engaged in open confrontation with security details attached to Mr Olaniyan.
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, while reacting, however, said that the prayer was a family affair.
Mr Tunji in a statement made available to journalists, on Sunday, said the deputy governor arrived at the venue after the prayer had started.
Mr Tunji, who apologised to Mr Olaniyan, also said that no one was aware that he was coming to the prayer.
“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.
“The Deputy Governor arrived after the prayer had started.The event was strictly a family affair.
“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.
“No one was aware that the Deputy Governor was coming as neither the advance team nor the protocol informed us.
“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.
“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.”
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