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Tinubu wades in as Ondo Assembly moves To Declare Akeredolu Unfit to govern

Barring last-minute changes, lawmakers of the Ondo State House of Assembly would declare Governor Rotimi Akeredolu unfit and ask his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to take…

Barring last-minute changes, lawmakers of the Ondo State House of Assembly would declare Governor Rotimi Akeredolu unfit and ask his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to take over in acting capacity.

The latest development, Daily Trust learnt, is as a result of Akeredolu’s continuous battle with fragile health.

In May, Akeredolu had written to the assembly, announcing that he was transferring power to his deputy to enable him focus on his health.

However, in his absence, things fell apart between Akeredolu’s loyalists and the acting governor.

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Immediately he returned to Nigeria from his three-month medical leave in Germany, the governor moved to his residence in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, and has not stepped foot in the Sunshine State.

Akeredolu’s aides claimed the governor resumed office on September 8, a day after returning from Germany, effectively taking over from his deputy, but there are clear indications that governance is on autopilot

Daily Trust learnt that the absence of Akeredolu from Akure and the inability of Aiyedatiwa to act have created a vacuum in governance, which analysts said is being exploited by politicians ahead of the governorship election in the state billed for November 16, 2024.

It was gathered that the lawmakers have decided to hold a plenary session to discuss and save the state from its current political crisis.

A source who spoke to our reporter said the lawmakers were getting embarrassed over the bombardment from different quarters about their silence on the continuous hang to power by Akeredolu while still attending to his health.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, said the decision by the lawmakers to have a plenary where the governor’s health would be discussed, was taken after the intervention of the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said some of the lawmakers have kicked against declaring Aiyedatiwa as acting governor.

“The lawmakers would meet at the plenary and one of the agenda of the sitting is to declare Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the acting governor since Governor Akeredolu is not fit yet due to his health challenge.

“But some of the lawmakers may not be at the sitting because they are not in support of Aiyedatiwa becoming acting governor despite the intervention of the leadership of the APC in Abuja,” the source added.

Speaking on the development, Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Olatunji Oshati, said a meeting of the lawmakers had been summoned to discuss the current political logjam in the state.

Oshati, who did not give the exact agenda of the planned sitting, explained that the assembly would make its resolution public at the appropriate time.

“The assembly will only sit and discuss the political situation in the state as already directed by the national leaders of the party,” he told Daily Trust.

President Bola Tinubu is set to meet with key political actors in the state over the current feud between, Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa.

It was gathered that the meeting fixed for Abuja was being summoned by Tinubu following the political crisis.

A source hinted reporters in Akure, the state capital, about the meeting, saying major stakeholders in Ondo APC and the members of the State Assembly, have been invited to the meeting at the instance of the presidency.

“Tinubu would be meeting with the stakeholders and members of the APC in the state at the villa to resolve all these issues. The president is concerned by the report in the media and letters written to his office concerning the development in the state.

“It is either he was hinting that the governor had not returned to the state since he arrived from Germany for his medical vacation or he had been following situations of things himself but it’s clear that he would be meeting the major actors in the state including the members of the state House of Assembly,” he added.

Speaking on the development, spokesman for the APC in Ondo, Alex Kalejaye, said he had been hinted about the meeting.

Kalejaye said the intervention of the presidency in the current faceoff would end all the political bickering being experienced in the state.

“I was supposed to meet with the state chairman of the party today but I have been told that he rushed out of the house. I’m sure it’s on this development.”

“Don’t forget that I issued a statement yesterday on the political situation in the state and assuring the people that the faceoff is currently being addressed by the leadership of the party in the state and at the national level.

“So, that statement was a saving grace for us as the presidency has decided to intervene in the matter. We quite sure that if Mr Tinubu had been around all this while, it won’t take this long,” he said.

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