Florence Ajimobi, widow of former Oyo governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has accused Governor Seyi Makinde of neglecting his predecessor while claiming in the press that he reached out to the family during Ajimobi’s last days.
Florence spoke angrily on Sunday as she received a delegation which included chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, at the Ajimobi’s residence in Oluyole shortly after the former governor’s interment.
Also among the delegation was Oyo State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan.
The former first lady said her late husband was a peacemaker and deserved better treatment from his colleagues.
“I opened the papers a couple of days ago and I saw the Oyo State Government writing a lot of things,” she said.
“Your Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, for the avoidance of misinformation to the public and damage to the image of my husband because my husband is a peace- loving person. He lived for peace passionately.
“My husband took ill on the 22nd of May and he was hospitalised and I was reading in the papers that the Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Seyi Makinde, claimed he called me. But he didn’t.”
Turning to the deputy governor, she said: “I don’t have your number and I have never spoken with you on phone. But it’s important we put the records straight because this is a family of politicians and I don’t want anybody to tarnish my husband’s name and well my husband is gone. It could be me or anyone else tomorrow.
“Life in itself is vanity upon vanity. Either you are PDP or APC, the man is dead and he has been buried.
“But the governor didn’t call me. Even if he had called me and I didn’t pick his calls, I don’t have his number and I have never spoken with him on the phone. He could have sent me a text message for record purposes.
“And then today again, I read in the papers and saw how the Ajimobi’s family was lying about something again.
“Mr Deputy, my husband never had anything against the governor or anyone else. We were in different parties but he was an elder statesman and he slept on the ground.
“The governor of Oyo State never called me nor sent a condolence message, my husband was hospitalised for one month. What politics are we playing, please?
“Life is short, I’m a Christian and my husband is a Muslim, we all should let the fear of God guide us in whatever we are doing. Ajimobi is gone today. Whatever he does doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter to me as his wife and his widow. I’m going to mourn and respect my husband’s wishes and that was what I did today, laid him to rest peacefully.
“I don’t want any controversy. Everything I read in the papers, I just swallowed them all and let it go. So, please, the press are here, we never had any rift with the governor with the state government. I never dialogued with them. I never contacted them nor sent them a word because I didn’t know it was necessary for me to send official messages that my husband was hospitalised.
“I didn’t send messages to Governor Fayemi. I didn’t send to Governor Ganduje. I didn’t send to Lagos State governor, I didn’t send messages to anybody because it was all over the social media and they knew that my husband was ill.
“I think the least anybody can do as a God-fearing person was at least to send me a word of encouragement at that time. And even after he died. Not even you Mr Deputy Governor called. If you had called me as you claimed and I didn’t pick, you could have at least sent me a message Sir.
“I don’t have your number, I am the wife of a politician, I don’t pick numbers that I don’t know Sir. You can send a message. Everybody is going to die. My husband is dead and he served this state for eight good years.
“Are you saying he didn’t contribute anything to this state and you could not honour him for a second? The man is dead and I need to put the record straight. I don’t want anybody, any government to tarnish my husband’s image. He was a peace loving man. And he played his role and he’s gone.”
Florence was then interrupted by Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who immediately called for prayers for the repose of Ajimobi.