The remains of the late former Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, have been laid to rest at his 6th Avenue, Yemoja Street, Oluyole Estate residence, in Ibadan.
Ajimobi was buried according to Islamic rites in brief funeral ceremony in conformity with the COVID-19 social distance protocols, amid tight security.
Aged 70, Ajimobi’s was, on Thursday, June 25, said to have passed away at a Lagos hospital, where he was being treated for COVID-19 infection.
The burial ceremony was conducted by the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniy Abubakry, supported by renowned Islamic preacher, Sheikh Muyideen Bello and Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Kunle Sanni.
The late former governor’s burial was also attended by some dignitaries, which include Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, Senator Teslim Folarin, and the APC governorship candidate in the 2019 general election, Mr Bayo Adelabu.
Others were business mogul, Chief Kola Daisi, Chief Kemi Alao-Akala, wife of former Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari, Reps member, Mr Shina Peller, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, Mr Olamiju Alao-Akala and some former members of the Ajimobi cabinet.
Prayers for the repose of the soul the former governor would hold at the Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi Mosque, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, at 12 noon.
Earlier, there was a disagreement between Ajimobi family and state authorities over his final resting place after Oyo State government disapproved the Agodi GRA home of the deceased for his burial.
The government said it could not grant approval for Ajimobi’s burial at Agodi, because “the rules guiding land use in Government Reservation Areas (GRA) forbid the burial of bodies in such locations as Oluyole Estate and Agodi GRA.”
The government also said apart from that, “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.”
However, the Agodi GRA residence of the deceased, was, on Sunday morning, seen being guarded by stern-looking policemen attached to the Oyo State Command, with a Hilux patrol van of Operation Burst, the state anti-crime outfit, and a white Kia Rio State Security patrol car parked beside the building with stern-looking security operatives.
But the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Olugbenga Fadeyi, speaking with The Daily Leaks, said stationing of police officers in strategic places in the state including Ajimobi’s houses was the usual and normal security protocols whenever a programme like the funeral ceremony the late governor holds in the state.
Fadeyi, who said the essence was to ensure there was no break down of law and order in the state, cautioned that people should not link the police presence at Ajimobi’s residences with whatever might have transpired between his family and the state government.
Earlier, the family announcing the funeral ceremony for the late former Oyo State governor, had said the funeral holds on Sunday, June 28.
In a statement signed by Mr Bolaji Tunji, the late Ajimobi’s media aide, he said the funeral programme is to hold at the Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi Central Mosque, Oke-Ado, Ibadan by 12 noon.
Tunji said the details of the burial ceremony were worked out by the family in consultation with the Lagos and Oyo states governments.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, on Saturday, denied insinuations that it is responsible for the delay in burying the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who died on Thursday.
The government said the insinuations amounted to a wicked lie.
The statement read: “In view of the intense enquiries from news media organisations 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.”