The Head Directorate of Research and Strategy, Act for Positive Transform Initiative, Kolawole Johnson, has argued that the legacy of the late Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has been tainted by the power tussle with the newly sworn-in governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The analyst, who spoke during an interview on Arise TV on Thursday, added that knowing what values Akeredolu upheld, it is unfortunate that people were using his condition to further their own nest in Ondo.
He said, “On the lessons we have learnt thus far in the state, it is a fact that you can scheme as a man, a man would remain a man.
“Whatever they did that his ill health turned a political advantage, it has fallen very flat, not necessarily because some other persons may not have done the same because politicians are all the same but it wasn’t just right to treat the man like that, what he stands for.
“Because, unfortunately, his legacy over time, it appears that incident, all of the drama, took a very huge bite into his legacy, into the perception you should have about Akeredolu as a person.
“Go to the state, that level of mourning you should expect for a man of status like Akeredolu is not there, not because of Akeredolu, it was because of all of the drama and the events that happened and I think it should be a lesson not only to politicians but to the man right there now.”
Recall that, in September 2023, Akeredolu had relieved the media aides attached to Aiyedatiwa of their appointments amid an alleged rift between the two leaders. The governor also disbanded the press crew assigned to the deputy governor’s office.
Later that month, Akeredolu’s prolonged absence outside the country sparked a political crisis in the state, as Aiyedatiwa was declared as the acting governor, even as he dissolved the state executive council.
Aiyedatiwa said he had not heard from Akeredolu for over a month and that he had the constitutional right to assume full authority as the governor. He accused some of Akeredolu’s loyalists of sabotaging his administration and plotting to impeach him.
Later in October, the state House of Assembly moved to impeach Aiyedatiwa as the deputy governor, on the grounds of gross misconduct, abuse of office and disloyalty to Akeredolu. The lawmakers said they had received a letter from Akeredolu, dated September 30, 2023, in which he denied handing over power to Aiyedatiwa and accused him of usurping his authority. They said they had verified the authenticity of the letter and the signature of Akeredolu. They said Aiyedatiwa had acted in violation of the constitution and the oath of office he took.
However, following the timely intervention of President Bola Tinubu, chieftains of the All Progressive Congress and key stakeholders in the state, Aiyedatiwa was installed as the Acting Governor once again, while Akeredolu was to go on another medical leave in Germany.
Eventually, on December 27, Akeredolu was confirmed dead at a hospital in Germany by the Ondo State government, even as his deputy was sworn-in immediately as the substantive governor of the state.