There was a mild drama on Sunday at the Oluyole, Ibadan residence of the former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, when the state deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan, was denied access to the eighth day fidau prayers holding in the compound.
The family had announced the fidau prayer as a private programme, urging the public to watch through virtual channels including Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.
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 join the prayer.
The deputy governor’s security details initially rebuffed the idea but when their 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 Ajimobi was in possession of the key. Olaniyan waited, believing that the issue would be sorted in no time.
After waiting for about 15 minutes, however, without any positive development, Olaniyan left the residence.
Spokesperson to late Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, later explained the family side of the story. He said the family was not aware that the Deputy Governor would be attending the event neither was there any prior arrival of the deputy governor’s advance protocol team to intimate the family ahead.
Tunji said the event which was planned as a family event held in observance of strict protocol of the NCDC, adding that effort to facilitate the entrance of the deputy Governor proved abortive as soon as the family gets the information on the presence of the Deputy Governor at the Oluyole residence of the deceased governor.
He said in a statement “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.” (Nation)