Indications emerged that Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is searching for a new deputy governor to replace the embattled Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
A government source told Vanguard in Akure, the Ondo state capital, that the governor has insisted that if Aiyedatiwa’s impeachment succeeds, another party leader from Ilaje would be appointed to complete his term.
Four from Ilaje penciled as a replacement
Already, the source said that four prominent personalities have been penciled down, and they include the former OSOPADEC Chairman, Gbenga Edema; a party chieftain, Nimbe Tawose; the Deputy Speaker in the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Abayomi Akinruntan; and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Wunmi Ilawole.
Vanguard gathered that the governor has also insisted that the replacement be someone who doesn’t have any governorship ambitions to avoid another distraction.
Another source within the party confided in Vanguard that Akeredolu initially kicked against the impeachment of his deputy.
The source added that the governor personally called the state party chairman, Ade Adetimehin, to prevail on the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt Hon Olamide Oladiji, to halt the impeachment process.
He reportedly bought into the process when he was presented with some weighty allegations against the deputy governor while he acted as the state acting governor by top party chieftains and aides.
According to the source “Aiyedatiwa’s issue has caused the governor a lot of heartbreak. You know many people weren’t happy with the choice of Lucky as deputy governor in 2020. Notwithstanding, the governor made the choice without minding anyone’s opinion.
“The recent issues have really broken the governor. He’s a man that doesn’t like “I told you so”. It was so obvious that he liked Lucky. He treated him like a younger brother with so much love and respect. The Governor trusts too much.
“Even the First Lady is heartbroken. She was so fond of Lucky. They were also pretty close. Mrs Akeredolu regarded Lucky as part of their family. That was the level of their relationship.
“Even with all the schemings by Lucky, when the governor came back he told his people to move on and forget it. The only reason he fired Lucky’s media aides was because of a planted story against him which he confirmed.
“Governor Akeredolu is a man with a large heart. He didn’t want to rock the boat. He had wanted Lucky to finish his tenure as the deputy governor but he was not also comfortable that he would be suppressing such allegations against Lucky. He wanted his deputy to defend himself.” The source said.
” Akeredolu is just not lucky with his two deputy governors. He trusted them but they betrayed the trust. They were just too ambitious.
” Aiyedatiwa has forgotten that it’s God that enthroned. He moved faster than his legs. He allowed himself to be pushed. He’s just not patient enough.
” It’s just unfortunate; lucky was unlucky. The allegations against him couldn’t be swept under the carpet.
Recall that Aiyedatiwa has denied all the allegations of gross misconduct describing them as fabricated lies against him and those desperate to kick him out.
The deputy governor was expected to react to the 14 allegations of gross misconduct level against him this week.
Meanwhile, the 9-man committee set up by the national leadership of the All Progressive Congress to resolve the imbroglio between Akeredolu and his deputy are expected in the state this week.
A top government source said that the committee chairman, who is a former governor of Katsina State, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, has written to all stakeholders in a bid to reconcile all parties involved.
The national leadership of the party was disturbed by the unfortunate political situation in the state, which, if not quickly averted, may lead to further disaffection among the party faithful.
Their intervention, the source told Vanguard “is to foster a better understanding that may likely lead to an amicable resolution.