EXCLUSIVE: Governor Akeredolu Sets To Remove Deputy
Members of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu’s inner circle are currently perfecting a plot to remove the Deputy Governor Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, if he fails to resign voluntarily.
Sources close to the deputy governor, who wished to remain anonymous, however, indicated that Aiyedatiwa, who was in charge all through Akeredolu’s medical treatment abroad, has no intention of resigning before the conclusion of his four-year term.
It was learnt that after Governor Akeredolu dismissed all of his deputy’s media aides last week, it became apparent that members of the Governor’s inner circle are persisting in their efforts to oust Deputy Governor, Aiyedatiwa.
Aiyedatiwa, who served as acting Governor for about four months while Akeredolu was in an undisclosed German hospital, is reportedly facing threats from influential politicians loyal to the governor, pressuring him to step down or face impeachment.
Top sources revealed that two options had been presented to Aiyedatiwa: to resign voluntarily or face impeachment.
“This divide within the State Executive Council deepened during the governor’s absence. Commissioners who cooperated with Lucky Aiyedatiwa during the governor’s leave have been branded as disloyal to the governor,” one of the sources revealed.
A senior government official expressed frustration, stating that the constant threats coming from Ibadan – the current base of Akeredolu, were excessive.
He said, “The threat to dismiss and reshuffle the cabinet is too much. We have contributed to the government’s success, and we are tired of these daily threats.”
Since Governor Akeredolu’s return from his medical trip, he has been conducting cabinet meetings and governing the state from Ibadan, raising suspicions that only those close to him will retain their positions.
The few official duties he has performed so far, including announcing his return and signing the LCDA Creation Bill into law, were all executed in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
“The press statement, which announced the dismissal of the deputy governor’s media personnel and directed the Ministry of Information to provide press coverage for the deputy governor during media engagements, was also issued from Ibadan.
“While this move by the governor has garnered criticism from many quarters in the state, those sympathetic to Mr. Akeredolu believe it was a necessary measure to rein in the deputy governor,” another source revealed.
Regarding the possibility of a rift between Aiyedatiwa and Akeredolu that might have strained their relationship, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duty and Strategy, Doyin Odebowale, stated on the Channels TV programme that there was no quarrel between the governor and his deputy.
When asked whether the governor would support his deputy’s candidacy in the 2024 elections, Odebowale said he was not aware, while emphasizing that the ongoing struggle among potential successors to Governor Akeredolu was causing distractions in the state.
Odebowale revealed that the governor dismissed the deputy’s media aides because they were circulating the governor’s obituary.