Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo, says the state government didn’t adhere to the established land use rule in Oyo state when it gave approval for the burial of former governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi at his Oluyole Estate residence.
Ajimobi died of multiple organ failure following complications from COVID-19 at First Cardiologist Consultant, Hospital in Lagos, last Thursday at the age of 70.
The former governor’s burial was initially scheduled for Friday, but was postponed according to Bolaji Tunji, special assistant on media to the former governor, due to consultations with the governments of Lagos and Oyo.
Taiwo Adisa, the Makinde’s spokesperson, in a statement on Saturday, said the state government was not responsible for the delay of Ajimobi’s burial.
According to him, the late ex-governor’s family members wanted him buried on a plot of land at Agodi GRA, but government turned down the request because the land was under litigation.
Adisa stated that Makinde, however, approved that Ajimobi be buried at his residence against the state rules on land.
“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,” he said.
“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.”