National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday gave out the money needed to bring back to Nigeria the body of Nollywood actress, Moji Olaiya from Canada, where she died on Thursday morning.
Moji was scheduled for burial last Friday in compliance with Islamic rites, but her burial was shelved at the last minute, with her 18-year-old daughter insisting her body be brought back to Nigeria and words that Fayose was going to help. But Fayose snubbed the family.
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Fayose reportedly snubbed the family leading to Tinubu stepping in to offer his help. Secretary of Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria, TAMPAN, Yomi Fabiyi, confirmed Tinubu’s assistance in a statement.
The statement read:
“The Committee after due deliberation consulted our father and a National Grand Patron of our association (TAMPAN) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the 21st May, 2017 to inform him of the demise of our colleague Moji Olaiya and that our humble unanimous decision is to have her body back, then given befitting burial and have her 2 months old daughter re-united with the family.
“Today, Monday 22nd May 2017 The Committee members, Adunola (Eldest daughter of Late Moji Olaiya)and two elder brothers of Late Moji Olaiya met with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and he expressed his sympathy directly and gave adequate support that will cover the entire air-freight.
“On behalf of the family, colleagues, and friends we say a big thank you to the National Leader for his fatherly and timely intervention.
“Further support or assistance from other sources if received will be adequately acknowledged. For now, we are grateful to Asiwaju and his family.
“The family and committee will, however, take it from there. Moreso, every other information relating the arrival and burial plans will be released shortly.”
Reacting to the alleged snubbing the family of the deceased after promising to fund the movement of the corpse of late Moji Olaiya, from Canada to Nigeria, the State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, said: “No official request has been made to the government in respect of the burial.”
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The Special Assistant to the State Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, described as irresponsible, the comment made by a certain Olukayode Salako, claiming that Governor Fayose declined request to assist with the flying of Moji Olaiya’s corpse to Nigeria.
The governor’s spokesperson, who maintained that there was no official communication between the governor and the late actress’ family, said on Thursday, last week, he 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,” he said
“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 an 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.
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“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 died last Thursday morning in Canada following a cardiac arrest just two months after she gave birth to her second daughter.