Tensions are running high in Ondo State following the move by supporters of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to engage in massive protests over political developments in the state.
The Guardian gathered that the supporters of the deputy governor were planning to stage a protest against Akeredolu over his continued absence from the state since his return from medical vacation about three months ago.
Aiyedatiwa’s supporters are also demanding that the governor should resign from office and his deputy be sworn in as substantive governor.
With the plan of the Aiyedatiwa’s camp known to the governor, supporters of the Akwredolu in turn revealed that they would be embarking on a counter-protest against the deputy governor over allegations of gross misconduct brought against him by the House of Assembly.
The potential clash between the two camps has raised concerns about possible violence and unrest in the state.
Prominent among those pushing for the protest is the former member of the House of Representatives, Kolade Akinjo.
Akinjo expressed disclosed the move on social media, saying, “All the progressives must be ready to join a full-day protest in Akure devoid of party coloration. A huge protest will send a message to all these democratic hawks and fools holding the constitution to ransom.
“Ondo State is bleeding, and everything is happening to the state now. Corruption is at its peak, and we don’t know who is in the saddle. Let’s go there. I am ready to lead. Eight years of legislative experience is not a joke. Dino said, You die once. I am tired of the rubbish happening in Ondo State.”
Also, the protest is said to be influenced by the recent decision of Justice Emeka Nwete of the Abuja High Court to hand off Aiyedatiwa’s case since it was already before the appellate court.
Meanwhile, the Ondo Congress for Progressives Front (OCPF) has called on both Aiyedatiwa and Akeredolu supporters to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign in the state.
The group, in a statement by its coordinator, Olayemi Oyekanmi, expressed concerns about the adverse effects the planned protests would have on the peace and security of the state.
“We have discovered plans by both Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa supporters to stage a massive protest in Akure, the state capital.
As much as we recognise protest as a legitimate right of citizens, we are concerned about the security threat it poses to the state.
“We are calling on the security agencies to swing into action and prevent these planned protests from happening. It is in the interest of the peace and security of the state.
“These concerned individuals should be brought to a round table and have meaningful discussions on their agitations. A clash of protests does not serve the interests of peace. We must avoid it.”
However, the police in the state said the command is unaware of any planned protest by the two groups.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmi Odunlami, said the command is not aware of the plans by some supporters to stage protests with the intention of bringing the state to a standstill.