Former Oyo first lady and wife of late former Oyo Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, Florence, on Sunday thrashed Governor Seyi Makinde, his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan, and the state government. She spoke while receiving the government delegation led by the Olaniyan, at Ajimobi’s Oluyole residence.
She told the deputy governor: “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.” She denied ever contacting either Makinde or anybody in his government for any kind of support during the illness of her husband. Florence also denied the state government’s claims that the family sent a proxy to meet the governor during the burial arrangement.
The widow said it was time for everyone to reflect on their lives “because death is a necessary end. It will come when it will come. We don’t know who is next and we don’t know when our time will come”.
She said Christianity and Islam teach love and peace “and I am glad that the deputy governor of Oyo State is here because I need to put some record straight. It is the first time I’m going to make any public announcement or statement since my husband actually died”.
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Florence recalled that she opened the papers some days ago and saw the Oyo State Government “writing a lot of things”.
Noting that her husband took ill on the 22nd of May and was hospitalised, she read that Makinde claimed he called “but didn’t”.
She added that it was necessary to “put the record straight because this is a family of politicians and I don’t want anybody to tarnish my husband’s name, well my husband is gone. It could be me or anyone else tomorrow”.
Florence said life in itself is vanity upon vanity, adding that “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, 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 were lying about some things. 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 widow declared that Makinde never called nor sent her a condolence message.
Lamenting that her husband was hospitalised for one month, she quipped: “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.”
Florence stated that all that has happened doesn’t matter and that she will respect her 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”.
“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.”
She told those in the room that she never sent 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”.
Ajimobi’s wife said the least anybody could 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 send me a text message sir”.
“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 garnish my husband’s image. He was a peace-loving man. And he played his role, and he’s gone.
“Nobody can be on the stage for so long. You come, play your roles, and you leave. Somebody else comes. I pray for Governor Seyi Makinde to succeed because that is the only time I would say that my husband succeeded.” As the atmosphere was getting tensed, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, interjected and called for prayers for the repose of the soul of the late governor.