BREAKING: Intrigues As Akeredolu’s Wife, Son Battle Deputy, Speaker over Governor’s Seat

Intrigues, betrayal and ambition have taken over the political atmosphere in Ondo State. Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is ill, some believe it is terminal, as there has been anxiety over what would happen to the Chairman of South West Governors Forum in the last few weeks.

Those, who are conversant with the happenings in the Ondo State politics confided in Sunday Telegraph that there are three groups battling for the soul of the State. Our source said: “There are three basic groups, who are fighting for the soul of the Sunshine State. They are those loyal to him.

Unfortunately, there is also his wife Betty and his first son, Babajide. The third group is the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa and his loyalists. “The governor’s son, Babajide is seen in some circles as the de facto governor and also heads an agency of government in charge of monitoring of projects. Because of that, he has an overbearing attitude.

He and his mother have a hold on the government and are not ready to let go. “Now, there is the Deputy Governor, who is also positioning himself to drag the position with them. “Those who are opposed to the Deputy Governor have succeeded in ingraining it in the heart of the governor that his deputy is over ambitious.

“The governor is meshed in a testy situation as he is battling for his life. There is also the petition that a member of the House of Representatives has forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a fraud related matter.” However, he denied writing the letter.

Some loyalists are of the view that whatever happens, they will still be in control of the state. The governor still has February 2025, to serve out his term. Based on this, the state has been turned into a political battle field. Those, who want to succeed the Governor include the current Commissioner of Finance, Wale Akintereinwa; Senator- elect, Jimoh Ibrahim; Olusola Oke, Ife Oyedele, and a Federal Government appointee, among others

Unconfirmed reports Akeredolu would have preferred Akinterinwa. Lucky Aiyedatiwa too is battling for political control as anything may happen, like it happned to Akeredolu’s deputy in his first term. Meanwhile, some other people believe that the ultimate loser is the governor.

No one is there to look after him, now that his health is waning. On Friday, a day before the proclamation of the State Assembly, there were reinforced police presence in order to checkmate any violence. Our source further said: “Other governors warned him that he had given so much power to members of his family.

His wife runs an agency, while his son is in charge of projects. “This has made people believe that he dug the grave for himself. They have warned him of the obstructive influence of his family in the affairs of the state.” It will be recalled that his wife threatened a serving member of the State Executive Council not long ago.
It is this intrigue that led to the impeachment of the former deputy governor.

That one had to leave the party and ran against Aketi in another party. Furthemore, Sunday Telegraph gathered that a fellow governor from another state warned him that ‘visibility of your son and wife in your government will be counter productive.”

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman, Aketi-Ayedatiwa Medical Committee, 2020 and Leader, Aketi Medical Team, 2016, Dr. Olusegun Akeredolu, has called on the people of the State to rise up and stop the illegality. He said that the Umar Musa Yar’ Adua scenario must not be allowed to repeat itself.

He said: “In the same way that President Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s true state of health was unknown in 2010, no one knows whereabouts of Gov. Akeredolu Oluwarotimi SAN of Ondo State. The signals so far show all is not well with number one citizen in the Sunshine state.

“The desperation among the political class is a pointer that H.E. Lucky Aiyedatiwa needs the support of Ondo State indigenes and security must be beefed up. Otherwise, these desperadoes don’t mind destroying the work of our past heroes and turn the state into another theater of war.

“Ondo State people must stand up and ensure the rule of law prevails. We must see Aketi, his current state of health must be known, and the Sunshine State must not be ruled by Aketi’s proxies like Mrs. Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu or his son, Babajide Akeredolu.

“We voted for Mr. Akeredolu Oluwarotimi SAN and H.E. Lucky Aiyedatiwa. If the governor is incapacitated, his deputy takes over, says the Nigerian constitution. There is no provision for his son or wife to rule under our laws, Ondo State is not a Banana Republic or Animal Kingdom.”

Yesterday, there was mild drama in the Ondo State House of Assembly as newly elected Speaker, Hon Olamide Oladiji, ignored the Deputy Governor in order of protocol, fuelling the speculation of frosty relationship between Governor Akeredolu and his Deputy, Aiyedatiwa.

There have been speculations in the state that the ailing Akeredolu was having a running battle with his deputy, hence his refusal to transmit power to Aiyedatiwa in order to become acting governor as required by the constitution. Akeredolu was seen briefly in public shortly after he returned to the state after he returned from his annual leave on May 1.

He has not been seen performing official duties in recent weeks fueling the speculation that the governor is critically ill. Also, the proclamation of the 10th Assembly was done on behalf of Governor Akeredolu by the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Benjamin Jayeola, fueling the speculation that the governor is critically ill.

A source in the state alleged of a move to impeach the Deputy Governor in order to prevent him from assuming the office of the governor in case of permanent incapacitation or death, saying that was the reason the governor did not write to the House of Assembly to transmit power to the Deputy Governor.

Reading his acceptance speech, Oladiji recognised the Governor, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Princess Oladunni Odu; the Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Ade Adetimehin and other dignitaries, skipping that of the Deputy Governor.

This development came as opposition political parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) asked the state government to declare public, the health status of Akeredolu.

The PDP in a statement, titled: “Theatre of the absurd: Akeredolu’s whereabouts should not be a secret” signed by Publicity Secretary, Mr Kennedy Peretei, said the handlers and managers of the governor have again proved that, they are not on top of their assignments, saying they have taking everybody in the state for granted.

Peretei said since the ailment of the governor broke out, Akeredolu’s handlers responded by fueling public anxiety and suspicion, instead of telling the state, where exactly he is, or getting him to address Ondo State, from wherever he is on planet earth.

His words: “When Akeredolu did not return to his duty post after his celebrated annual leave in March this year, tongues started wagging. At the inauguration of President Bola Tinubu in Abuja, Akeredolu was conspicuously absent.

“The deafening silence from government information machinery suddenly saturated social media space with old videos of Akeredolu dancing and singing praises. “On the eve of the inauguration of 10th Ondo State House of Assembly, there were reports of an ‘Owo cabal’ led by Akeredolu’s heir apparent, Babajide mobilising members-elect to make a legislator from Owo Speaker, as a fallback position to retain the leadership of the state in Owo, in the event of the worst happening, after impeaching the incumbent Deputy Governor.

“These speculations almost put the state on edge until this morning when the Ondo State House of Assembly retained the present power structure of Speakership of the Assembly in Ondo Central Senatorial District. “If Akeredolu’s handlers had done the needful, the state would have been spared the unnecessary anxiety.

As mortals, any human being can fall sick, whether in public office or private life. Rotimi Akeredolu is employed by the people of Ondo State, maintained with taxpayers’ money. So, it is criminal and a great disservice to keep mum over his health status and his whereabouts.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State Chapter, demands that, those hiding the governor should tell the people where he is to save the state from speculation. In 2010, when then President Umar Yar’Adua was incapacitated due to ill-health, Akeredolu was one of the most vociferous voices, calling for his resignation and allowing the then Vice-President to take over.

If for whatever reason, Akeredolu can no longer discharge his official responsibilities, the most reasonable thing to do is to hand over to the Deputy Governor as required by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). “Our party joins millions of Ondo State people to pray for Akeredolu’s quick recovery but nobody should play politics with his ill-health.

Nobody should ground the state beyond its present state. Let Akeredolu resign, if he is no longer fit to be governor.” Similarly, the SDP in a statement by its Chairman, Stephen Adewale, asked rhetorically where is the state governor. Adewale said “In the past 24 hours, the rumour of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s poor health has dominated the media and spread like wildfire in Ondo State.

“While it is no longer news that Governor Akeredolu is dealing with health issues as this was made clear in the viral voice note that was released by Ondo State First Lady, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu, in recent weeks, the governor’s rumoured battle with blood cancer, his bedridden condition, and his inability to sign documents have taken centre stage.

“While the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ondo State had enthusiastically and eagerly anticipated that the governor would refute such rumours by presenting himself to the public, the silence from the governor’s camp and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State is concerning and alarming.

“To us at Ondo SDP, therefore, their silence and failure to deny or confirm the information implies consent. There are now serious doubts about Governor Akeredolu’s capacity to continue to govern the Sunshine State as his medical conditions remain shrouded in secrecy.

“It is quite disturbing that the state of the governor’s health has become a topic of state curiosity and concern. This situation continues to undermine the ability of the State government to fulfil its obligations and commitments, including those requiring the government to provide economic pathways to millions of people facing absolute poverty and uncertainty in the Sunshine State due to the reckless and insensitive removal of subsidy by the APC-led Federal Government.

“Ondo SDP calls on Arakunrin to respect the good people of Ondo State, who have voted for him twice by presenting his medical records to the general public. We strongly believe that the good people of Ondo State have the right to know about the medical conditions of Arakunrin Akeredolu.”

But the Ondo State government confirmed that the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, was indisposed as a result of his ill-health. However, the government through the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, dispelled the rumoured death of the governor.

A statement released by the government titled: “Ignore the Rumour on the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON” said: “We have been inundated with calls and messages concerning the state of health of the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON. We had chosen to ignore this wicked fabrication until it appeared that certain persons seek to draw political mileage from the disinformation.

“Though the Governor has been indisposed for now, he has been attending to state matters and delegating functions to functionaries of the Government, when necessary. We enjoin the members of the public to ignore the rumour. Aketi is very much alive.

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