The government of Oyo state has strongly rejected insinuations that it is responsible for the delay in the funeral of the former state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who died Thursday.
In a statement made by the chief press secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, it was pointed out that the insinuations were tantamount to a vicious lie.
The statement said: “In view of the intensive inquiries from media organizations regarding the alleged delay of the funeral of the late former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the government of Oyo state wants to put on record that the rumour that the funeral is being delayed by the state government is not true.
“The rumour, which is deliberately spread in order to give the state government a bad reputation and play inappropriate politics with the dead, originally came about through the gossip in the social media that was able to gain the attention of the traditional media.
“Several media associations turned to the media office of the governor of Oyo State on Saturday to investigate this outrageous lie.
“It must be clearly stated that the governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, did not in any way help to delay the funeral of his immediate predecessor, Senator Ajimobi, in any way.
“In truth, the family has approached the state government through an agent and asked for permission to bury the late governor on land near Agodi GRA, which is currently the subject of litigation.
“By the way, it was the same former governor Ajimobi who initiated the legal action.
“Governor Seyi Makinde had no choice but to present the facts as they are to the envoys and reject the application.
“However, Governor Makinde agreed, against the established land use rule in Oyo state, that the family may bury the deceased governor at his Oluyole Estate residence.
“It should be noted that the rules for land use in the government’s reservation areas (GRA) prohibit the burial of corpses in such places as the Oluyole Estate and the Agodi GRA.
“Let it also be on record that Governor Makinde overlooked all this and ordered the government to cooperate fully with the family in this matter, while the family did not follow the established protocols in passing on information about the illness and possible death of Senator Ajimobi.
“It can only amount to a vicious lie to assume that the incumbent government in Oyo State tried to prevent the funeral of the immediate previous governor.