Florence, widow of ex- Oyo Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has lashed out at Governor Seyi Makinde for how his government treated her husband in the last one month of his illness.
The visibly angry widow denied ever contacting Makinde or anybody in government for any kind of support during the illness of her husband, which eventually resulted in his death.
She spoke while receiving a delegation of Governors who were at the Oluyole residence to commiserate with the family and pay their last respects.
The delegation was led by the Oyo Deputy Governor, Mr Rauf Olaniyan.
The former first lady, who acknowledged she was not supposed to talk, said she decided to break her silence since his husband fell ill about a month ago and died last Thursday because of misgivings emanating from the government.
While appealing to the government to stop what she described as dirty politics, she said her late husband was for peace and served the state for eight years making him deserve better treatment even in death.
She said: “Although I should not be the one speaking but I just want to clear the air on a lot of misgivings that has been spreading.
“On behalf of my late husband, children and the entire Ajimobi’s family, I want to sincerely thank you for all your support at this very crucial point of our lives.
“My husband is not a very difficult man but thank God we are here today. For me, when things like this happen, I want to pick up something. It is a time for everyone to reflect on our 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.
“Either you are a Christian or a Muslim, both religions teach love and peace and I am glad that the deputy Governor of Oyo State is here because I need to put some records straight. It is the first time I’m going to make any public announcement or statement since my husband actually died.
“I opened the papers a couple of days ago and I saw the Oyo State Government writing a lot of things.
“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 didnt.”
Referring 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.
“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 in the ground.
“The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde 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 was 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.”
“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.
“So, please let’s put the record straight. I never had any interactions with Governor Seyi Makinde, he did not contact the family and that is the fact. His deputy Governor is here, he did not even send me a text message and I don’t have your number and I don’t pick calls from numbers that I don’t know. So, please let’s stop dirty politics.”
The quick intervention of Kano Governor Umar Ganduje, who quickly called for prayers for the repose of the soul of the late Governor, put the matter to rest.