27th September, 2011
Politics has taken over the funeral of the former governor of Oyo State, late Chief Kolapo Ishola as the family of the deceased has rejected the N30million offered by government to bankroll it.
The family of the deceased rejected the offer because the government publicised it.
In a letter to the state government through the special Adviser on Political Matters, Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, the family’s spokesman, Kunle Isola, also the former governor’s first son, condemned the publicised gesture.
Mr. Kunle Ishola, a Commissioner for Agriculture during the government of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala said the family has also resolved not to, â€œaccede to the request to use Lekan Salami Stadium for the interdenominational service on 7 October. The family, he said, prefered the Liberty Stadium as originally intended.
Kunle Ishola advised government to use the money for other things. â€œWe advise that the same be expended on other matters the state desires with as much publicity attended to its intended donation to our family. The blessing of God maketh rich without adding sorrow nor contention. We hope that all unwarranted publicity attended to our fatherâ€™s last burial rites will now cease forthwithâ€.
Alao-Akala in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Dotun Oyelade commended the family of Ishola for turning down the offer stressing that it was honourable to do so adding that the government of Ajimobi sought to portray the revered family as beggars by issuing false statement to gain political advantage.
.In a release issued by Governor Abiola Ajimobiâ€™s Senior Special Assistant on Public Communication, Festus Adedayo, the government said that its offer to participate in the burial of the former governor was borne out of respect for the former governor and its appreciation of his contributions to the state as a former governor.The statement noted that upon the death of the former governor, his family duly informed the government and the governor constituted a committee of five, comprising commissioners, Special Advisers and Permanent Secretaries, so as to give the departed former governor a befitting burial.
According to Adedayo, the committee met with another committee of Isholaâ€™s family comprising four of his children and they both deliberated on the budget of N58 million brought by the Ishola family.The government thus offered to contribute the sum of N25 million, paid directly to the Ishola family and another N5million for logistics and contingency of the burial like printing of invitation, posters and protocol. Government also extended state facility like the Adamasingba stadium, media coverage and protocol to the funeral programme.The family responded by granting the state government an account number to which the money should be deposited and also handed over clothing materials for the burial.