Persons to include deputy governor of Oyo State, Mr Rauf Olaniyan were unable to gain access into the venue of the eighth-day fidau prayer for the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, held on Sunday.
Olaniyan, in a convoy of some other government officials, had arrived at about 11.25 am only to be told that the gate had been shut because only a limited number of persons were desired so as to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Efforts made to notify persons inside the house that it was the deputy governor that was being held outside proved abortive before the deputy governor entered his car and was driven away.
The scene was almost physical with security details at the gate rebuffing arguments by the deputy governor’s security details to allow their boss in, while photographer attached to the deputy governor was also warned against taking pictures of the scene.
Wife of the deceased, Mrs Florence Ajimobi and children alongside Senator Teslim Folarin were among dignitaries in attendance at the event.
However, media aide to the late governor, Mr Bolaji Tunji, in his reaction, said while the deputy governor arrived after the prayer had started, the event was strictly meant to be a family affair.
Tunji added that the gate was shut because of the need to ensure social distancing with not more than 30 persons expected to be seated.
He added that the protocol or advance team of the deputy governor never notified the Ajimobi family of Olaniyan coming to attend the event.
However, on the arrival of Olaniyan, Tunji said the family was making attempts to make space for the deputy governor to sit in a private sitting room but he had left before they returned.
Tunji explained that there was no intention to slight the deputy governor.
“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,” Tunji said.
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