New Telegraph

Ondo: Akeredolu/Aiyedatiwa’s Rift Deepens

The crisis of confidence between Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has deepened and may not end soon, Sunday Telegraph can report. This is even as the hawks in Akeredolu’s camp are still pushing that the Deputy Governor must go and have his functions assigned to another top cabinet member.

Sunday Telegraph reports that the return last week of the lawyer turned politician from three- month medical leave threw up new vistas in the battle for the political control of the state.

Barely 24 hours after he returned from Germany, where he had been to treat Leukemia, he held meetings with all members of the State House of Assembly, his executive council; he also met with the elected members of the National Assembly on the platform of the APC, showing that he is back and not ceded his position to anybody.

However, his coming has also put every other thing being talked about relating to the position of the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa and the hawks in the camp of the governor to the fore again. Sources knowledgeable with happenings in both camps confided in the news- paper that Aiyedatiwa has been derobed of every paraphernalia of office as the deputy governor, with no function assigned to him any more.

The hawks were pushing for his impeachment on allegations of being disloyal to Akeredolu while he was away. Some said that it would be tough for the Deputy Governor. “If he survives the impeachment, then you can be sure that his visibility and all the paraphernalia of office he has enjoyed in the past three months will be significantly whittled down,” one of our sources said.

Barely 48 hours after, did Akeredolu not only withdraw Aiyedatiwa’s media aides, he disbanded the Deputy Governor’s media team and reposted the members to their respective stations and ministries from where they were seconded.

Hawks in Akeredolu’s camp accused Aiyedatiwa of plotting with some members of the State House of Assembly, to declare Akeredolu unfit to continue in office, there- by making him complete the tenure as the governor.

A Source volunteered: “The Deputy Governor too made some mistakes. He was becoming too powerful and some of his aides were saying things they should not have said in public. That was why the Governor had to rush back home from Germany.

It is deepening by the day. “From all indications, Aiye- datiwa may not survive; Akeredolu has not only moved against him, he has relegated him to the background. He is not going to assign him any official function. He is just going to be there in name.

“But some persons are still telling Akeredolu that this guy wants to succeed him if anything happens – a relapse. They are asking him to remove him so that he does not succeed him.” But the Deputy Governor is not taking it lying low. Some people are peddling rumours that he has resigned. He has not resigned.

That is why he issued a statement on Friday, indicating that he has not resigned as the deputy governor. “The thing is that he has been derobed of all paraphernalia of office completely. He is on his own. Some of the people hobnobbing with him from within the government are avoiding him. They do not want to be seen with him.

“The hawks are still pushing that he has to go. The story is that a deputy governor designate may be in waiting. He is said to be a member of the cabinet. He is one of the Commissioners, a former Chief of Staff to the Late and former Governor Olusegun Agagu.

He is the one carrying out the function of a Deputy Governor now.” Why are they after Aiye- datiwa? Our Source answers: “Now everything is now more than just the game. Everything now is who succeeds Akeredolu. The opposition PDP too is pushing.

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