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July 18, 2024
Community News

Women’s Group threatens to protest absence of ‘First Lady’ in Ondo, questions Aiyedatiwa

  • Says Absence of First Lady Supports Assault Allegations

A prominent women’s advocacy group, the Society for Women Empowerment (SWE), has berated the Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, for his alleged continuous abuse of his wife, Seun Aiyedatiwa.

In a statement released by the group’s National Coordinator, Mrs. Damilola Charles, SWE expressed disappointment that Governor Aiyedatiwa has persisted in treating his wife unfairly, despite numerous warnings and admonitions from various quarters.

It will be recalled that SWE had last year alleged that Aiyedatiwa, who was then the deputy governor, repeatedly subjected his wife to physical abuse in the presence of his staff and friends.

In a recent statement issued on Monday, the group stated: “It has come to our knowledge that Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State has continued to allegedly deny his wife, Seun Aiyedatiwa opportunity of her assuming office as the First lady of the Ondo State.

The group said, “It is shocking to discover the extent to which Governor Aiyedatiwa has devalued his wife. We are aware that Mrs. Seun Aiyedatiwa and her sons returned to Nigeria in December following numerous interventions and pleas from family and friends. However, upon arriving in Lagos, Mr. Aiyedatiwa allegedly forbade his wife and children from coming to Akure, the Ondo state capital.

“He insisted that she remained at their Omole home in Lagos under the watch of male security officers. The official Aide-de-camp (ADC) and the orderly assigned to Mrs. Aiyedatiwa were denied access to her.

“While she was in Lagos, Governor Aiyedatiwa, who was then the deputy governor, became acting governor. Later, after the unfortunate passing of his late boss, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, he became the substantive governor. Following the swearing-in ceremony, Mrs. Aiyedatiwa instructed the driver to take her and the children to Akure. Although the driver objected, Seun, heartbroken, refused to back down. Eventually, she and her children travelled from Lagos to Akure.

“To the astonishment of many, upon arriving at their Alagbaka Home in Akure, the civil defence officer at the gate allegedly denied Mrs. Aiyedatiwa and her children entry. According to the officer: ‘Oga instructed us not to let her in.’ Frustrated, she had no choice but to stay at the nearby popular Hotel at Alagbaka for three days before leaving for her hometown, Ilesa, in Osun State.

“As of now, Mrs. Aiyedatiwa has returned to the United Kingdom with her children. During one of Governor Aiyedatiwa’s trips to Lagos, he refused to go home to check on his wife and children. Instead, he invited the boys (sons) to meet him at a hotel. However, the boys were said to have declined the invitation.

“We are deeply saddened by the reprehensible behavior of a man who holds the esteemed office of governor. It is disheartening to have individuals like Governor Aiyedatiwa in positions of power in a state like Ondo. While we understand that a governor is not an angel or a superhuman, they must possess impeccable character and be beyond reproach. We raised the alarm last year about indications of physical abuse by the then deputy governor towards his wife.

“For those who can discern, the absence of a First Lady in Ondo State today is a clear testament to the domestic abuse within the family. A happy home is the foundation for a harmonious society. How can a leader without a happy home create a joyful society for the people? It is distressing and alarming to discover that Governor Aiyedatiwa lacks respect for women. It is archaic and barbaric to engage in violence against women in this day and age.

“It is disheartening and unsettling to find a group of women in the state allowing themselves to be manipulated by Aiyedatiwa, all under the pretense of showing support for his gubernatorial ambitions. It is evident that these women prioritise their personal interests over the welfare of the state. If that were not the case, wouldn’t such a gathering be graced by Mrs. Aiyedatiwa herself? Why are these women not posing important questions? In addition to the mere N5,000 they were given, they should have inquired about the whereabouts of the governor’s wife.

“We, as an organization, will continue to protect the integrity and dignity of Nigerian women and hold men accountable, regardless of their status. We will not allow our women to suffer in silence and regret due to societal pressures. We hereby warn Governor Aiyedatiwa to rectify his actions immediately, or we will take to the streets. A man who allegedly abuses his wife cannot lead a state in Nigeria.

“However, it has come to our attention that Governor Aiyedatiwa possesses a video recording of his wife allegedly refuting claims of abuse and physical assault. This video was recorded during one of the family’s attempts to reconcile and resolve their differences. The Governor plans to release this video as a means to counter this kind of revelations. We strongly urge the public not to be influenced by these desperate tactics. It is merely an outdated ploy,” SWE group said.

The Governor’s office is yet to react to the development.

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