Oyo state government denies claims of delaying the funeral of ex-governor Abiola Ajimobi

The Oyo State Government has denied allegations it is responsible for the delay in the burial of a former governor of the state, Abiola AJimobi, who died from multiple failed organs due to COVID-19 complications in a private hospital in Lagos on Thursday, June 25.

Rumors have been rife online that the family of the deceased governor and the state government were at loggerheads over where Ajimobi will be laid to rest.

However, in a statement released this morning, the Chief Press Secretary to the Oyo state governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, described the rumors as ”wicked lies”. According to Adisa, the family of the deceased governor had approached the state government for approval to bury the former governor on a plot of land at the Agodi GRA area of the state which is currently under litigation.

Adisa said the state government declined the request of the family since the ownership of the land in question is being challenged in court. He said approval has been given for the family to bury the governor in his Oluyole residence.

The statement reads

“In view of the intense inquiries from news media organizations 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.”

Late Governor Ajimobi was buried yesterday June 27.  

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