Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo, says his administration went against the established land use rule in Oyo state to grant permission for the burial of Abiola Ajimobi, the former Governor of the state, at his residence on the Oluyole estate.
Ajimobi died last Thursday of multiple organ failure after complications from COVID-19 at the first cardiology consultant hospital in Lagos. He was 70 years old.
The funeral was originally scheduled for Friday, but according to Bolaji Tunji, special assistant to the former Governor for media Affairs, the event was postponed after consultations with the governments of Lagos and Oyo.
In a statement on Saturday, Taiwo Adisa, a spokesman for the Governor, said the state government was not responsible for the delay in the funeral.
He said that the family of the deceased had asked for permission to bury the late former Governor on a plot of land in Agodi GRA, but the request was denied because the land was under legal proceedings.
But he said the Governor allowed the late former Governor to be buried in his residence, contrary to state rules on land.
“Given the intense media inquiries regarding the alleged delay in the funeral of the late former Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Oyo state government would like to officially state that the rumors that the funeral is being postponed by the state government are not true,” he said.
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“The rumor, which is deliberately spread to give the state government a bad name and play inappropriate politics with the dead, originally came by way of gossip on social media, which gained momentum to attract the attention of the traditional media.
“Several media outlets contacted the press office of the Governor of Oyo state to investigate this blatant lie on Saturday.
“Let it be made clear that the Governor of Oyo state, engineer Seyi Makinde, played no role in delaying the funeral of his immediate predecessor, Senator Ajimobi.
- The fact is that the family, through a proxy, has applied to the state government and asked for permission to bury the late Governor on a plot of land in Agodi GRA, which is currently under trial. By the way, it was the same former Governor of Ajimobi who initiated the lawsuit.
“Governor Seyi Makinde had no choice but to present the emissaries with the facts as they are and reject their request.
“Governor Makinde, however, contrary to the established land-use rule in Oyo state, agreed that the family could bury the late Governor at His oluyole estate.
“It should be noted that the rules governing land use on state reserves (GRA) prohibit the burial of bodies in places such as the Oluyole Estate and Agodi GRA.
“Let’s also record that although the family did not follow established protocols in passing on information about Senator Ajimobi’s illness and possible demise, Governor Makinde ignored all of this and directed the government’s full cooperation with the family on this matter.
“The implication that the current Oyo state government tried to prevent the funeral of the former Governor can only be a malicious lie.”
Ajimobi was buried on Sunday under heavy security.