Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state was never contacted to help ferry the remains of star actress Moji Olaiya from Canada!
Her colleagues who tried to initiate the move aborted it. And the Special Assistant to the governor on Publicity and New Media, Lere Olayinka, narrated that the official letter the burial committee was to write was never done.
Yomi Fabiyi, the burial committee’s publicity secretary, who spoke to Olayinka on the issue, admitted not writing the official letter advised.
Fabiyi’s press statement on Saturday, May 20, read:
Our attention has been drawn to an Encomium Magazine publication dated 20th May, 2017 regarding the above subject matter. We will like to state as follows:
1. It is a considered opinion of this committee to bring back the corpse of our colleague back to Nigeria for a beffitting burial and her 2months old baby to be re-united with her family.
2. Late Moji Olaiya is an indigene and a Cultural Ambassador of Ekiti State. Consequently the State Government was informed and a verbal appeal for support via the Senior Media Assistant to the Governor, Mr. Lere Olayinka and as at 2am on Saturday he directed the committee to make official request. THE SAID REQUEST IS YET TO BE MADE.
3. At present, contrary to the news flying around THE COMMITTEE HAS NOT RECEIVED ANY FAVOURABLE RESPONSE FROM EKITI STATE GOVERNOR MR AYODELE FAYOSE.
4. You will recall, prior to this time the general public was intimated of the composition of the committee so that friends and media can direct their queries or get accurate information from the right source.
5. We strongly warn against unguarded utterances, half information and publications that may dent the image of the deceased, her family and committee planning for her smooth and decent transition.
6. Thanking you in advance for your co-operation and understanding. We also sincerely appreciate several encomiums, condolencies and support locally and abroad in ensuring we give Late Moji Olaiya the deserving burial.
And Olayinka, whose principal (Fayose) has been the subject of abuse for reportedly not assisting the state’s cultural ambassador, issued a statement to debunk claims.
Here is the statement:
“It is totally irresponsible on the part of the said Olukayode Salako, who is said to be the husband of Actress Foluke Daramola to have taken to the online media to disparage the person of the governor when even family members and genuine friends of the deceased are mourning her and seeking means of according her a befitting burial.”
“On Thursday, last week, I was contacted on 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.
“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 publication 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.”
Moji Olaiya, 42 year old mother of two daughters died on Thursday, May 18, in Canada of cardiac arrest following childbirth complications.
She had already bought her return ticket for June 20, hoping to bring her two month old baby home, before the shocking tragedy.