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Ondo after Akeredolu: Gov. Aiyedatiwa battles to redeem image

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Ondo 2024: Political activities gather momentum

Ondo Sate governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, is yet to get out of the onslaught against him, which started during the illness of his late boss Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who was laid to rest recently.

Aiyedatiwa, who, during the period the late governor was seriously sick and receiving treatment abroad, was subsequently appointed as the acting governor after a prolonged impasse, got the bashing of the people loyal to Akeredolu, who accused him of being over-ambitious.

Those in Akeredolu’s camp and his family accused him of not wanting the late governor to recover from his illness so that he could eventually occupy the governor’s chair fully.

It was even strongly insinuated that he must have been allegedly the brain behind Akeredolu’s illness as his accusers alleged that his attitude portrayed him as being too eager, to occupy Akeredolu’s position.

The accusations heightened, when strong forces emerged against the ailing Akeredolu that he should relinquish power to his Deputy, Aiyedatiwa, arguing that he could not continue to govern outside Ondo State.

The issue became so tense and controversial to the extent that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, had to intervene before amicable solution was found because the law makers in the state had begun the process to impeach Aiyedatiwa.

With series of allegations against him, which Aiyedatiwa continued to deny, Governor Akeredolu eventually died and the constitution of Nigeria naturally and rightfully gave him the chance to become a full fledged governor of the state. Despite this, the opposition against Aiyedatiwa continued, within and outside his party, APC, perhaps to discredit him, as a result of other gladiators gunning for the position in the coming November governorship election, who were unrelenting in their propaganda against him.

Right now, it appears that Governor Aiyedatiwa is not going to be left alone, probably, till the primary of the party is finalized and the flag bearer elected or selected as the case may be. With Aiyedatiwa as governor, he is having a lot to contend with and these have been right from the day he took full charge of the state, as the governor.

He was first accused of not being sensitive and sober, when he was sworn in, because his supporters jubilated on the day the demise of Akeredolu was announced and even the day he was inaugurated as substantive governor.

His action and that of his supporters were outrightly condemned by the families and loyalists of Akeredolu, who believed he should have been sober and remorseful.

The situation in Ondo State presently is worrisome, as it now appears, that both the families of Akeredolu and close associates have distanced themselves from Aiyedatiwa and this was evident during the burial of the late governor to the extent that Mrs Betty Akeredolu lamented, that her husband left them behind with their enemies, apparently referring to Aiyedatiwa and his co-travellers.

Some of the issues at hand in Ondo State now, as the gladiators and their political parties get set for their primaries, are violence, the alleged arbitrary removal of the State’s Head of Service, proposed removal of the Accountant General, the resurfacing of the certificate forgery against him, and even the matter of his wife, who people believed, should be forgiven by Aiyedatiwa.”

On the issue of violence, political opponents of Aiyesatiwa, especially, those in the APC, have been crying out that the governor is using the machineries of his office along with thugs to harass and intimidate them.

Specifically, Chief Olusola Oke and Mr. Akinterinwa, who are in hot contention with Aiyedatiwa, for the APC ticket, accused him of using political thugs to harass their supporters and have been destroying their bill boards and posters, even without any consideration and respect for President Tinubu, who was recently in Ondo to console with the wife and families of the late Akeredolu.

They both alleged that Governor Aiyedatiwa unleashed terror on them, by using members of the National Union of Road Tansport Workers (NURTW) to disrupt the peace of the state on the very day President Tinubu arrived Akure, the state capital.

Both Oke and Akinterinwa wrote President Tinubu to call Governor Aiyedatiwa and his agents to order and warned him not to use thuggery to execute his political ambition, which he Aiyedatiwa is not hiding, saying no one could expect him to be a governor for just one year.

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Also, the Ondo Redemption Initiative (OSRI) has revisited the issue of certificate forgery against Aiyedatiwa arguing, that he forged his WASC result of nub15592019, said to have been obtained, at Ikosi High School, Lagos State, in 1982 when the school established by late governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande in 1980 had not yet clocked the mandatory five years to qualify to register students for WASC, when the first set of the School only sat for in 1985.

The president of OSRI, Pastor Adebayo Ogunsanmi, Secretary Sunday Ayeni and its Public Relations officer, urged both President Tinubu and other security agencies to properly investigate the matter.

But an associate of Aiyedatiwa, who did not want his name in print told the Business Hallmark that those accusing the governor of forgery have nothing doing, because the issue has been investigated by the police and he was given a clean bill.

He said that if Aiyedatiwa had presented a forged WASC result, his late boss Arakunrin Akeredolu would not have allowed him to be in the same ticket with him for his second term in 2020.

Another group on Aiyedatiwa’s throat is the Nigeria Civil Society Desk, coordinated by Friday Eleojo, who accused him of arbitrarily removing the Head of Service who was telling him about the financial regulations in the Civil Service.

The Head of Service and the Accountant General of the State were said to have warned Aiyedatiwa at a meeting that government established protocols and financial regulations should be followed in disbursement and spending of public funds.

It was further said that he was advised to follow the standard of his late predecessor, which according to sources, angered him and without wasting time the Head of Service, was immediately removed after the meeting.

The Accountant General, sources said, was left behind pending, when a replacement would be found.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Aiyedatiwa, Ebenezer Adeniyan, said that the issue of thuggery and destructions, of opponents’ posters and bill boards, linked to the governor, was not true. He argued that, there was nobody linked with him, who would condescend that low to start destroying bill boards, posters and start unleashing terror on innocent citizens of the State.

According to him, those accusing the governor can’t prove the allegations and where they got their information from that the governor was behind the alleged attacks.
Meanwhile, the governor himself has ordered security agencies to arrest those responsible for destruction of billboards and campaign posters of his opponents in the coming election.

Billboards and campaign posters of many aspirants along major streets of Akure were destroyed even on the President Tinubu was on a visit to Ondo State.

Supporters of Other aspirants were allegedly beaten up by hoodlums on their way to the Akure airport to welcome Tinubu to the state.

Aiyedatiwa, through his Chief Press Secretary, Adeniyan, said his administration would not tolerate any form of violence capable of threatening the peace and tranquility of the state.

 

 

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