Oyo State Deputy Governor, Engr. Remi Olaniyan, has brushed aside Mrs Florence Ajimobi’s outburst against him during her husband’s death and funeral, saying she only spoke and acted out of grief which should not be regarded as an offence.
Olaniyan spoke in his Ibadan home on Saturday on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir.
Asked if Mrs Ajimobi has called to mend their relationship based on the widow’s outburst against him during his visit, Olaniyan said: “Mrs Ajimobi did not offend me in the first place. She was grieving at the time and, in that state, could do anything that is considered abnormal. So, I understand fully. I did not feel offended by the two incidents.”
Mrs Ajimobi, who lost her husband on June 25, had expressed disappointment with the deputy governor when he visited their Oluyole, Ibadan home to commiserate with her few days after the former governor’s death. She complained that the governor or deputy did not call her to commiserate with her despite serving the state for eight years.
On the burial day, Olaniyan’s delegation was also denied access to the building. The security at the gate told him that the gate key was with Mrs Ajimobi who was at the funeral site.
Recalling how he handled second incident, he said: “When I saw the behaviour of the men around the house that day, I told my security aides that nobody must touch anybody. I said they must keep their heads when others are losing theirs. We must keep our omoluwabi ethos in all situations. That’s the first requirement in politics. Then, you load yourself with patience.
“We (he and Mrs Ajimobi) have spoken after that and we have moved on. She was grieving and nobody can fully understand the enormity of that grief except you are in her shoes. And I pray God Almighty not to allow us taste that grief. So there is nothing she did that she needs to apologize for.”
The deputy governor also explained that the current administration in Oyo State would continue to work for the interest of the populace in spite of being labelled as a populist government.
He said: “The wish and wants of the populace should be the target of the government. What else do you want us to do? We are there because of their interest.
Should we go ahead and do what people don’t want? Some brand you different names when you are listening to the people and meeting their needs. Should we be doing things that the people don’t want?”
He said the decisions of the state government on COVID-19 management are being guided by facts and data, stressing that people should not be surprised that Oyo is setting the pace in Nigeria.