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 program, urging the public to watch through virtual channels including Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook.
Olaniyan arrived at the residence at about 11:20 am 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.
BUT media aide to the late Ajimobi, Mr Bolaji Tunji, in his reaction to the incident said the family was not aware that the deputy governor will be coming and that the Fidau prayer was strictly a family affair.
According to him: “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.”