April 7, 2009

Fayose, siblings in dirty war over dad’s burial

Disagreement over the final resting place of Pa Olorunfemi Oluwayose, renowned cleric and father of former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has snowballed into a dirty war among the deceased’s children.

Daily Sun gathered that the children of the late cleric are pitched in a battle over where and how to bury their father.

According to family sources, a meeting held at the Orita-Challenge home of the late Oluwayose went awry two weeks ago as Fayose, leading 10 of his siblings including the first born, disagreed with the 16 other children led by the second born, Ms. Modupeola Fayose, a United Kingdom-based nutrition expert and Apostle (Mrs.) Bimpe Oluwayose Sorinola, Fayose’s sister by same mother kicked against the burial arrangement for their father.

The Ayo Fayose camp which include the first born of the late Octogenarian, Olusegun Fayose and Mrs. Moji Ladeji want the old man buried in his home town, Afao-Ekiti, Ekiti State, while their other group insist on respecting an alleged last wish of the former Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) leader that he be buried in his Ibadan home, which adjoins one of the five churches he founded in his 50 years of work as an ecclesiastic activist and missionary in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Pa John Olorunfemi Oluwayose passed on February 14, but he is yet to get a befitting and quick burial as he reportedly instructed at his 82nd birthday celebration last year.
Both groups of his surviving children had published separate conflicting obituaries and funeral programmes.

While the Modupeola/Bimpe group fixed the rites of passage for between last Wednesday and Friday (April 1-3) to hold at the Orita Challenge residence of the deceased, Ayo Fayose’s scheduled theirs for April 9 and 10 at Afao Ekiti.

Although some of the children observed the April 1-3 programme, climaxing in a burial service at Oloruntedotimi CAC at Orita Challenge, Ibadan and interment, it was more of mockery, as the corpse could not be buried, having been ordered detained by the police allegedly on Fayose’s instruction.
Daily Sun gathered that when the Modupeola/Bimpe group got to the private hospital (names withheld) where the remains of the late cleric were being kept, the corpse could not retrieved as mobile policemen had been drafted to the hospital.

The group was said to have gone back disappointed with an empty casket, which they eventually interred with Pa Oluwayose’s priestly regalia and his Bible.
The development shocked mourners including relations and church members of the late priest.
The former Ekiti governor’s group is alleged by the Modupeola/Bimpe group to be backed by traditionalists in their hometown who allegedly had been cursing members of the camp for wanting to shame Ekiti.

An unrepentant Bimpe told Daily Sun last night: “They have given our phone numbers to Babalawos, traditional rulers and other dark principalities in Ekiti who have been cursing and making threats.”
The conflict has even assumed a frightening dimension as Bimpe alleged that she had been receiving threat messages on her mobile phone allegedly sent by her brother of same mother (name withheld), who is hand-in-glove with Fayose on the move to bury their late father’s remains in Ekiti.
Daily Sun gathered that the new Oyo State Police Commissioner, Baba Bolante has waded into the matter with a directive to the hospital in Ibadan, where the deceased’s body is kept not to release it to any of the parties.

A meeting of the family and elders of the late Pa Oluwayose’s church has been summoned by the police commissioner in his office at Eleyele headquarters today to broker peace among the feuding children.
A cynical Bimpe and Modupeola said they suspected the forum was to brow beat them into submitting to Fayose’s plan. But they vowed never to concede any ground against their “father’s last wish”
Contacted, former governor Fayose declined to comment on the development, asking when his father’s burial became an issue for newspaper publication.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the Oyo police boss was out of town, attending a conference of commissioners of police in the federation with the Inspector General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro in Maiduguri.

But police spokesman, Miss Bisi Okuwobi, who confirmed the scheduled parley, said her boss had delegated two senior officers and herself to preside at the meeting.
Okuwobi also explained that the deployment of police detectives in the hospital where the corpse of Fayose’s father was being kept became necessary to avert a breakdown of law and order.
“In order to ensure that there is peace all over the state, the police have to step in to maintain law and order. Our interest is to ensure peace,” Okuwobi stressed.

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