Oyo State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, was on Sunday denied access to the eighth-day Fidau prayers of Abiola Ajimobi, former governor of the state who died last week.
Olaniyan was there as the leader of Oyo State government’s delegation that included top government officials.
After initially being stopped at the entrance of the Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, where the former governor’s residence is located, Olaniyan’s entourage was eventually allowed in. But on getting to the late former governor's residence, he found the gate to the house, where the prayers held, locked and could not proceed.
The delegation eventually left after waiting without being received by the family.
However, in a statement he issued later on behalf of the family, Bolaji Tunji, late Ajimobi’s media assistant, explained that the family was not expecting the deputy governor at the event because there was no communication to that effect.
“There is the need to clarify the believed presence of the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Rauf Olaniyan, at the 8th day prayer of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the immediate past Governor of Oyo State,” the family said.
“The Deputy Governor arrived after the prayer had started. The event was strictly a family affair. There was need to comply with the COVID-19 protocol as established by the National Centre for Decease Control on 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 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 family explained.