Widow, Florence Ajimobi (left); Mrs. Abiola Kola-Daisi and deceased’s daughter, Miss Ajijola Ajimobi, during the eighth-day fidau prayers for the late former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in Ibadan… yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM
Olaniyan arrived the residence at about 11:20 a.m. 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 participate in the prayers.
Olaniyan’s security details initially rebuffed the idea but when the 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. Florence Ajimobi was in possession of the key.
The deputy governor waited, believing that the issue would be sorted in no time. After waiting for about 15 minutes without any positive development, Olaniyan left the residence.
Ajimobi’s spokesperson, Mr. Tunji Bolaji, who spoke on the issue, said the state government delegates arrived after the prayers had started.He said: “There is need to clarify the believed presence of the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Rauf Olaniyan, at the eighth-day prayers of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the immediate past governor of Oyo State.
“The deputy governor arrived after the prayers had started. The event was strictly a family affair. There was a need to comply with the COVID-19 protocol as established by NCDC 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 10 minutes.
“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.”The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while reacting to the development, said the event was never a family affair with the presence of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
The state’s Publicity Secretary of the party, Akeem Olatunji, said: “To the unsuspecting members of the public, kindly disregard the All Progressives Congress (APC) media team press release in its entirety. It wasn’t a private family affair because Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and many others were there and the family members were well-informed in advance that the deputy governor would be leading the government delegation to the event.
“It was reported that the security personnel at the gate said that there was an order from Madam not to allow the government delegation into the venue.”