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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Oyo State First Lady, Florence Ajimobi shuttles Mecca, Jerusalem


The season of serving government functionaries with wasteful and extravagant spending is still very much in vogue. This we can tell you from this end that the First Lady of Oyo State, Her Excellency Mrs. Florence Ajimobi is one of the principal culprits in this excessive and frivolous spending galore.

Indications are gradually emerging and very rife that the first lady may just be as squanderous as her husband, the executive governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, who is equally allegedly notorious for excessive spending, all at the expense of Oyo State government’s till and coffers

An interesting twist has however been introduced to the first Lady’s executive lifestyle vis-a-viz her true religious inclination. No doubt, the woman is very passionate about prayers and supplications, what is now making people to ponder over her real religious status is how she identifies deeply with Christianity and Islam, giving massive attention to both religions with all splendors. How do we mean? As a professed staunch Catholic, she faithfully observes the basic tenets of Catholicism and simultaneously respects and even practices her husband’s Islamic faith. And any time she turns out at any religious gathering or function she comes with a retinue or women, mainly hangers-on, all at the expense of the government treasury, which the unconstitutional office of the first lady does not ordinarily provide for.

During the last Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi was in the company with her husband as head of

Women pilgrims, even when she is a known Christian, even as she was also in Jerusalem recently, where the core of her prayers was based on Oyo state. At any religious gathering, you will always find her praying fervently for Oyo state. What is more, she never misses the Holy Ghost Night monthly vigil at the Redeemed camp. Besides, when the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E. A. Adeboye came to Ibadan last year on the 28th of December to be precise, Mrs Ajimobi came with her entourage which consisted mainly of wives of political appointees, and despite her Christian status, she is the best dressed woman in the state. Just as her husband the governor has been severally reported to indulge in reckless government spending on jamborees abroad with his cabinet members and Oyo lawmakers; she is also toeing the same line of indiscriminate spending and flamboyant lifestyle, using her veiled guise of a pious religious person as the conduit pipes. Even her pet project, which comes in  form of masses-oriented programme, as exemplified by other first ladies, does not get as much attention as she gives to her ‘religious mien’.

While one can concur that a Governor or his wife are not supposed to be partial or sentimental on issues of religion, especially when they are in office, the kind of attention Florence Ajumobi gives to issues of religion leaves much to be deserved; and it is just getting clearer that the first lady’s unquenchable thirst for these two major pivots of religion, Christianity and Islam, may just be a source of conduit pipe for siphoning the state’s lean resources, and this is very sad.

Her Excellency, we believe, should pitch a tent and leave the other religion to those who belong to the that divide. Or how best can one explain the rationale behind a first lady attending a religious function (Christian or Moslem), with a large retinue of senior aides of her husband, including commissioners, special advisers, special-assistants, and not forgetting her Excellency’s own personal staff who all draw their salaries and perks from the state till. Must she attend such functions and events in a jamboree-like manner which usually eats deep into the coffers of Oyo State Government, at these trying times when the entire populace is groaning under the pangs of poverty, fuel subsidy removal devastating effect and lack of basic facilities?

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