There is a palpable sense of anxiety among some members of the Ondo State Executive Council over the imminent return of the governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to the state after his extended medical treatment abroad.
According to reliable sources, the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has been meeting with some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in an attempt to seek forgiveness from Akeredolu over his actions while his boss was away, one of which was while the governor was receiving medical care in Germany, Aiyedatiwa was reportedly involved in plotting to coerce the governor into resigning on health grounds.
A source within the Executive Council explained that Aiyedatiwa and his supporters have been restless since the emergence of pictures and videos online showing the governor in the process of recovery. According to the source, the acting governor and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Gbenga Ale, had assured certain members of the Executive Council that the governor would not be returning.
Some members of the Executive Council who aligned themselves with Aiyedatiwa were reportedly convinced that the governor either would not return alive or would resign, thereby allowing the deputy governor to assume the position of governor. It was also revealed that these members of the Executive Council had been promised various positions and juicy ministries.
According to the plan, the Chief of Staff, Ale, was promised the position of Secretary to the State Government, while Commissioner Rasaq Obe was promised the position of deputy governor to Aiyedatiwa. Obe hails from Ifedore in the Ondo Central Senatorial District.
The deputy governor and his caucus have reportedly been thrown into confusion following the release of pictures and videos of the recovering governor by the Governor’s Wife, Betty Akeredolu, and the Majority Leader of the House of Assembly, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi.
Reliable sources indicated that Aiyedatiwa has met with former National Secretary of the APC, Iyiola Omisore, former Southwest Chairman of the party, Chief Pius Akinyelure, and former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi. These meetings were reportedly held separately in Abuja.
The deputy governor is said to be visiting these APC leaders in an attempt to gain their favor and secure their support in persuading the governor to overlook his actions.
Another reliable source in Akure, who requested anonymity due to her position in government, said: “I was accused of being loyal to Aiyedatiwa. It is true that the deputy governor made some moves. He invited me and others to several meetings and shared information that cannot be disclosed at this time.
“I believe he received false information suggesting that the governor would not return. I know this because he was overly confident about that fact. He was already envisioning himself as the waiting governor.”
“Aiyedatiwa told us that the governor could no longer move his hands. He mentioned some files he took to Ibadan that were signed and returned to him. According to him, the governor did not sign those files himself. He concluded that the governor would not be coming back.
“As it stands, apart from meeting with both APC and opposition leaders in Abuja, the acting governor is also reaching out to certain members of the House of Assembly. Right now, he is in a state of panic. The impact of the false information he received regarding the governor’s health has caused a lot of trouble.”
“Not only him, even the Chief of Staff, who believed the governor would not make it, is now running around. The Chief of Staff, Ale, completely disregarded the governor, to the point where he took over the responsibilities of the Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of the deputy governor.”
Meanwhile, a group called “Ondo Youths for Accountability” has raised an alarm over an alleged approval and expenditure of N200 million for the recently held Ondo Summit in the state.
According to the group’s coordinator, Taiwo Hassan, the Permanent Secretaries of various ministries were compelled to pay N1.2 million each to allow three delegates from their respective ministries to attend the event.
The group also highlighted that local governments in the state were forced to pay N1 million to attend the summit.
In a statement issued in Akure, the state capital, Hassan described this development as unacceptable and unfair.
Hassan stated, “We are saddened by the recent actions of the acting governor, who unilaterally approved a whopping sum of N200 million for the Develop Ondo.