The Ekiti State Government has reacted to claims that it snubbed calls from the burial committee of deceased actress, Moji Olaiya, who died in Ontario Canada last Thursday.
Reports in the media on Monday indicated that the government snubbed calls from a member of the burial committee who sought financial help in repatriating the remains of Moji Olaiya to Nigeria.
Though the committee had gotten the assistance of former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu to bring the actress’s remains to Nigeria, many Nigerians cast aspersions on the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose on his attitude to the issue.
In a statement issued on Monday, Special Assistant to Governor Ayodele Fayose on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka said the claim that Ekiti State refused to assist with the flying of Olaiya’s corpse to Nigeria for burial was totally false.
While maintaining that there was no official communication between the governor and Moji Olaiya’s family on the issue of assistance, Olayinka disclosed that: “On Thursday, last week, I was contacted by phone by a journalist friend, Yomi Fabiyi on the need for the Ekiti State Government to assist in raising a sum of $15,000 needed to bring Moji Olaiya’s corpse to Nigeria.
“My immediate response was that an official request, via a letter, should be made and that the letter will be presented to the governor. I gave him my email address to which I said the letter should be sent “On Friday, I informed the Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Dipo Anisulowo of my telephone conversation with Yomi Fabiyi, and my response that official letter should be written to the governor.
“Up till today, the letter has not been sent and as such, no official request has been made to the State Government.
“When my attention was drawn to online publications that Governor Fayose had elected to fund the flying of the deceased corpse to Nigeria, I called the journalist who did the report and told him pointedly that no such decision was taken by the governor.
“It was on the strength of this that Mr Yomi Fabiyi issued a press statement on behalf of the Burial Committee, stating that no request had been made to the government of Ekiti State and the official letter requested was yet to be sent.
“It, therefore, beats our imagination that certain character like Olukayode Salako could take to the online media to make derogatory comments on the governor, purportedly on behalf of the family.
“While we condole with the Olaiya family of Ijesha Isu Ekiti, Moji Olaiya’s friends, fans and colleagues in the movie industry, we wish to advise that the family should saddle only responsible people with the task of according their daughter a befitting burial.”