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Ondo Assembly, Others ‘Disown’ Aiyedatiwa Over Akeredolu-Succession Claim

Olatunde was reacting to Governor Aiyedatiwa's claim that the late governor desired that he succeed him.


Aiyedatiwa
COMBO: Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (L) and Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa (R)

 

The Ondo State House of Assembly, and the former chief press secretary to Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Richard Olatunde, have distanced themselves from a claim by the Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, that he had been endorsed as a successor by the late governor. 

Olatunde while reacting to the statement by Governor Aiyedatiwa, warned him to stop exploiting the deceased governor’s name for political gains.

According to him, Akeredolu’s family and his ardent supporters across the state, strongly object to Governor Aiyedatiwa’s deceptive tactics.

He stated: “This narrative regarding the alleged wish of our late leader and father figure, late Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, for Governor Aiyedatiwa to succeed him has gone too far to be disregarded.

“This narrative began even before our leader was laid to rest. Out of respect and utmost reverence for our late Governor, we chose not to engage with those spreading this narrative.

“While we acknowledge that the political atmosphere in the state is intensifying, we want to unequivocally state that the late Governor did not anoint or express a desire for Aiyedatiwa to succeed him. On the contrary, the relationship between the late Governor and Governor Aiyedatiwa became strained and distant until his passing.

“Despite attending to official matters and meeting people from Akure, the late Governor intentionally kept Mr. Aiyedatiwa, who was the deputy governor at the time, away from him in Ibadan.

“Our late Governor was deeply disappointed and regretful of certain behaviours and character traits displayed by Mr. Aiyedatiwa during his health challenges, which ultimately led to his passing.

“We have also observed the circulation of a video recorded during the swearing-in ceremony of the late Governor and Mr. Aiyedatiwa as Governor and deputy governor, respectively. Undoubtedly, our late Governor had high hopes for Mr. Aiyedatiwa. The late Akeredolu never concealed his intentions.

“One thing that discerning minds can clearly see is the turn of events in the latter half of last year. Trust was betrayed. Confidence was shattered. And the true colours of desperation overshadowed the good intentions of our late Governor. What followed was a tale of disappointment and betrayal. Our late leader, to say the least, was heartbroken before his demise.

“We, therefore, caution Mr. Aiyedatiwa to cease these deceptive tactics and focus on his campaign. Akeredolu’s ardent followers, including members of his family, do not support Mr. Aiyedatiwa’s aspiration to clinch the ticket of the party.”

Declaration Misleading

Similarly, the Ondo State House of Assembly said it never passed any resolution endorsing Aiyedatiwa.

In a statement signed by major house members, including the Majority Leader, Hon Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, and the Minority Leader, Hon Olajide Oguntodu, said they were disappointed in the incumbent governor.

”As Honourable members of the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly, we were shocked and disappointed to hear the public declaration made by the Honourable Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Olamide Oladiji, to the extent that the Ondo State House of Assembly has agreed to support the governorship ambition of Governor Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa,” he said.

The house also revealed that it ”operates on democratic principles, and would formally take a collective decision, follow due process and the relevant laws governing the State where it wishes to take any decision regarding the endorsement of a gubernatorial candidate.”

They described the declaration as “untrue, misleading, un-parliamentary, and, to say the least, ridiculous.”

”We, therefore, wish to inform the good people of Ondo State at home and in the diaspora that.

“At no point did the Ondo State House of Assembly deliberate the governorship ambition of any of the numerous aspirants that have indicated their interests to contest for the State’s 2024 Governorship Election, let alone agree to support any particular aspirant.

“Mr. Speaker lacks the moral and legal authorities to speak or pledge support for any governorship aspirant on behalf of the House without the explicit consent of members.

“Mr. Speaker has, by his unconventional and false public declaration, misrepresented the honourable House, and in so doing, brought the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly into disrepute, needless controversies and breached our confidence in his leadership.

“Consequently, we hereby pass a vote of no-confidence in the leadership of the Speaker, Rt Hon Olamide Oladiji.

”The House of Assembly however reaffirms its commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that all decisions taken are transparent enough and are in the best interest of the people of Ondo State,” the statement said.