The intervention by President Bola Tinubu and concerned stakeholders in the political impasse rocking Ondo state, between the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa might have hit a brick wall.
This is as Ayedatiwa remained adamant insisting to be declared as the Acting Governor of the state against the resolution reached during a meeting with President Tinubu last weekend.
The President’s intervention is said to have left a bitter taste in Ayedatiwa’s mouth as the President and stakeholders at the meeting resolved that the status quo should remain.
However, according to Tribune, some 48 hours after the meeting, a fresh plot was said to have been hatched and launched against Akeredolu as the embattled deputy governor is said to have renewed a move to cajole the lawmakers to declare him as acting governor against the resolution reached at the meeting with the President.
It will be recalled that the President had advised, according to a press release by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, all opposing parties to sheath their sword and embrace peace.
Ngelale said, “This means that Governor Akeredolu remains Chief Executive of the State, Aiyedatiwa remains Deputy Governor, and members of the State Executive Council continue their respective duties, even as the leadership of the State’s House of House of Assembly and the APC Chapter in Ondo State is preserved.”
But it was gathered that Ayedatiwa had been calling on some members of the state House of Assembly insisting that he must be declared acting Governor on Tuesday (tomorrow).
One of the members of the House of Assembly who received the call from Aiyedatiwa but pleaded anonymity disclosed that the deputy governor queried the President’s intervention in the matter.
The source said: “Last night (Sunday) a number of us received a call from the deputy governor. He informed us that he must be declared acting Governor on Tuesday.
“When we reminded him that it wasn’t part of the resolutions reached at the meeting with the President, he said the President can’t tell us how to run Ondo State.
“All efforts to make the deputy governor understand that the resolutions would only engender peace and allow the state to move forward, he yelled and said over his dead body that Akeredolu would remain as Governor.
“The deputy governor has failed to understand that the President has given the best political solution to the issue at hand. I wonder what Mr. Deputy Governor wants again.
“The agreement is that you should go and do your job. Represent your boss and get the people together. Is that too hard?
“Why is he hell-bent on becoming acting governor? Is he doing it in the interest of the people of the state? The answer is definitely no! Aiyedatiwa believes that the only way for him to become governor is only if he forcefully takes power from Akeredolu now.
“The painful part is the unbridled affront to the President’s directive that the status quo should remain. President Tinubu is a man who should be respected in Ondo State. Especially if you are a loyal member of the APC, you must understand that Tinubu has invested so much in the party over the years.”
The source also said that the deputy governor has been calling those he deemed not close to the governor in the assembly to join the 11 members who are already loyal to him including the state Chairman of the APC.
One of the lawmakers said plans are ongoing to co-opt the State Chairman of the party, Hon. Ade Adetimehin, into the plans.
But Adetimehin stated that no politician in the state would dare move against the resolution reached with President Tinubu on the impasse in the state.
Adetimehin said, “There’s nothing of such, no one dare go against the resolution reached with the President. Can anyone go against what President Tinubu has pronounced? That agreement stands and nothing more”
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Olamide Oladiji however said the decision of the lawmakers are in line with the outcome of the meeting with President Tinubu.
Oladiji stated that any decision not in tandem with the resolution reached with President Tinubu should be disregarded.
Also speaking, the majority of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Ogunmolasuyi, also said there is no plan to either welcome the deputy governor with fanfare on Tuesday or proclaim him as the acting governor.
Ogunmolasuyi maintained that the status quo remains as agreed at the end of the meeting with Mr. President and said “It was collectively agreed that Akeredolu remains the Governor while Aiyedatiwa remains the Deputy Governor and not as Acting Governor.
“The meeting also agreed that there should be no impeachment, the House of Assembly remains one while the State Exco remains intact. No sacking of any member and party Exco remains intact.’
Meanwhile, a group within the state, the Ondo Progressives Network has urged the embattled deputy governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa to respect the resolution reached at the meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday.
The group expressed worries over speculations and reports that the deputy governor is plotting with some members of the House of Assembly to make him acting governor.
The group in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Ogunika Taiwo, and made available to journalists in Akure, said any move by the deputy governor to act contrary to the resolution reached with the President would amount to subordination and flagrant disrespect.
The statement read: “Since the last Friday meeting with our amiable and responsive President, Bola Tinubu, we have observed a growing trend of discontent and dissatisfaction in the camp of the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
“The activities of his known and close allies and personal aides have shown a total rejection of the stance of the President and other stakeholders who attended the Abuja meeting.
“For us, we welcome the efforts of the President to bring peace and stability to our sunshine state. The resolutions as reached by the warring factions were laudable and impressive. It was an amicable compromise that would serve the interests of the people and allow governance to breathe eventually.
“However, we are saddened by the latest news and speculations of plots by the Deputy Governor in collaboration with some members of the House of Assembly to declare him acting Governor against the resolutions reached in Abuja. We consider this as an act of insubordination and gross disrespect to the office of the President.
“We would like to advise the Deputy Governor, Aiyedatiwa to be guided in his ambitious drive and resist the lure of desperation and insatiable quest for power.
“The agreement reached in Abuja would serve the interest of the people and the state. It is not out of place for the deputy governor to continue to function as deputy governor without forcefully taking over power in the state.
“We are privy to the fact that arrangements have been concluded to disobey the directive of the President and declare Aiyedatiwa as acting governor tomorrow. We don’t want to believe the rumour that money has exchanged hands and some people want to justify their pay. Beyond personal sentiments, we must uphold the integrity and principles we are known for in Ondo State.
“This is a clarion call to the deputy Governor to lay all these matters to rest. Continue to function as deputy Governor and desist from troubling the political water of the state.
“Fortunately, the election is around the corner. Since Mr. Deputy Governor is interested in the next election, we think disobeying the President will amount to political suicide.
“Let peace reign supreme in Ondo State. The deputy governor should also, as a matter of urgency, call his followers and allies to order.
“What else does Aiyedatiwa want? The President has stopped your impeachment. You have been guaranteed to stay till the end of the tenure. Why is he hell-bent on becoming acting governor?”