Politics & Governance

EXCLUSIVE: How Akeredolu’s Worsening Health Condition Triggered Moves To Impeach His Deputy, Created Political Uncertainty In Ondo

The health condition of Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has become an amber light that is regularly beaming an impending doom in the politics of the sunshine state.

For close to two years, the governor has been going in and out of the state to seek for medical attention in Europe while the business of governance is permanently left for his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa to run.

Three months ago, the governor left the state for America on what he described as annual leave in a letter transmitted to the state Assembly to notify the House that Aiyedatiwa would be in charge as an acting governor during the period of his absence.

While in America, it was rumoured several times that the governor was dead. Each time his death rumour went viral, his media team always embarked on a herculean task to debunk it and struggle to convince the people that their governor is still alive.

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu

However, the governor returned from his vacation early last month and many people had expected him to resume office and continue the job he is elected to do. Surprisingly, Akeredolu is yet to resume office one month after his return while his deputy, Aiyedatiwa continues to administer the state in an acting capacity.

A few days ago, it was heavily rumoured again that the legal luminary is dead. Many Nigerians took to their social media handles to condole his family, the people of Ondo State and also wish him a peaceful rest.

In its usual prompt response, the media team of the governor debunked the rumour, described the news as the handiwork of Akeredolu’s adversaries and asked the people to disregard it. The reaction was buttressed yesterday with video of the governor in his sitting room watching the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United.

In one of many statements issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde Olabode, it was confirmed that the governor is sick but he is getting better and recuperating fast. The situation appears to have also rendered his spokesmen incapacitated to issue further statements on his health condition other than to occasionally post video and photos of him on social media.

This development is believed to be gradually drifting the state to political uncertainties as people within the corridors of power are now jostling for the actualization of their interest.

On Friday, the news went viral that former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Honorable Bamidele Oleyelogun had resigned. But a few minutes later, the lawmaker denied that he resigned his position. According to him, the resignation letter was originated by certain politicians who are hellbent on plunging the state into anarchy.

Bamidele Oleyelogun, Former Speaker OHA

A reliable source within the government exclusively revealed to RovingNaija correspondent that Oleyelogun was actually persuaded to resign his position by some powerd that be. Following his refusal to sign the letter written on his behalf, his signature was forged and the resignation letter was posted on various social media.

According to the source, some people within the government wanted him to resign before the 9th Assembly would come to an end so that a lawmaker from Owo who is loyal to the governor would emerge as speaker.

The source disclosed that Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, a lawmaker representing Owo Constituency 1 in the state Assembly had already been arranged to take over if Oleyelogun’s resignation sailed through. And if it happened, Ogunmolasuyi would be tipped and massively supported to become the next speaker of the 10th Assembly.

Hon. Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi

“The cabals believe that Aketi may die anytime from now and that is why they are trying to be proactive. If Ogunmolasuyi becomes the speaker, he will be expected to mobilize the lawmakers to impeach the deputy governor. And as the number three man in the state government hierarchy, he will automatically become the governor.

“Their fear is that if Akeredolu dies and his current deputy becomes the substantive governor, it will be difficult for any other person to contest the party ticket and win against him during the primary election scheduled for next year.

“According to zoning arrangement, Aiyedatiwa is favoured to emerge the next governor if he contests and it is obvious he will. ” The source revealed.

Asked if the deputy governor is also interested in contesting the election, the source disclosed that he is among the over 30 politicians jostling to be governor from the Southern Senatorial zone of the state.

According to the source, if Olusola Oke contested and won the primary election next year, the state chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Engr Ade Adetimehin will be picked as his deputy. And if he eventually won the governorship election and become the governor, Babajide Akeredolu who is the son of the current governor will be appointed as the SSG. These people are alleged to be the brains behind the impeachment move against the deputy governor.

Despite the inauguration of the 10th Assembly on Saturday with the emergence of a New speaker, Olamide Oladiji who represents Ondo East Constituency at the state Assembly, it does not seem to stop the move to impeach Aiyedatiwa as long as Akeredolu remains incapacitated to run the state.

Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Ondo Deputy Gov.

Asked if there have been some allegations against the deputy governor before now, the source noted that if a house wants to impeach either a governor or his deputy, there will always be some allegations to level against him. It is not new in Nigerian politics. 

The only thing according to the source, that can save the D-Gov right now is either for the governor to get well and return to office or he is ready to form a profitable alliance with the new speaker and principal officers in the house.

The governor is said to be currently in Ibadan where nobody can ascertain his health condition which is constantly sparking his death rumours.

This development has been like that for the past one year, which has given the deputy governor the opportunity to be fully in charge of the state affairs while some chieftains of the party are scheming to end his reign abruptly.

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Seun Akin

Seun Johnson is a professional journalist and proficient media strategist with over 10 years of consistent work experience. He is Verse in content creation and versatile in editorial administration with a deep knowledge in digital, print and broadcast journalism.

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