Aiyedatiwa Shakes Up Ondo Administration - The Top Society

Aiyedatiwa Shakes Up Ondo Administration

Acting Governor Accused of Undermining Akeredolu's Recovery 

Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Acting Governor Ondo State

Lucky Aiyedatiwa, recently appointed as the acting Governor of Ondo State, has swiftly implemented a significant administrative change, temporarily suspending Bola Alabi, Chief of Protocol to the ailing Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The decision, announced in a circular issued from the state capital, Akure, comes merely 72 hours after Aiyedatiwa assumed office following the Ondo State House of Assembly’s declaration.

Governor Akeredolu, dealing with an extended battle against an underlying health challenge, recently embarked on a medical vacation to Germany. The Ondo State House of Assembly, in response to the Governor’s leave, declared Mr. Aiyedatiwa as the acting governor, setting the stage for the administrative reshuffling.

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The circular, titled ‘Preparation of the acting governor’s engagements,’ and published by Peoples Gazette on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, outlines the temporary rearrangement. It specifies that Bola Alabi, the temporarily suspended Chief of Protocol, will resume his duties upon Governor Akeredolu’s return from medical leave.

The directive from the acting Governor reads:

“The acting Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, has directed me to inform all members of the State Executive Council and top government functionaries that the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor will be responsible for the preparation and signing of his official engagements for the time being. The Chief of Protocol (Mr Bola Alabi) will take charge of this responsibility as soon as Mr Governor resumes from his medical vacation. Kindly take note for your guidance and co-operation from time to time.” 

Prior to Aiyedatiwa’s assumption of the acting governor role, mounting pressure on Governor Akeredolu to resign due to his deteriorating health had caused concerns. His prolonged absence had triggered a political crisis within the state, with reports of clashes among cabinet members vying for control in the power vacuum.

Meanwhile, the crisis surrounding the ill health of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has taken a new turn, with All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Mr. Sola Ajisafe, leveling accusations against Acting Governor Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

Speaking on a radio program in Ondo State ‘Heart of the Matter,’ Ajisafe alleged that Aiyedatiwa is plotting to undermine Governor Akeredolu’s recovery by reshuffling the State Executive Council to favor his supporters within the government.

Ajisafe claimed insider knowledge, stating that Aiyedatiwa plans to redeploy the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Princess Oladunni Odu, to the Ministry of Commerce, while Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, would be posted to Culture and Tourism.

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He argued that such actions violate the 1999 constitution and an agreement reached with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during a peace meeting in Abuja.

His words

“Section 190 of the Constitution did not give the Deputy Governor the power to reshuffle the cabinet. The section gives the Acting Governor to right to act on behalf of the governor not to override the decisions of the governor. There can’t be two governors at the same time.” 

The APC chieftain further criticized the Acting Governor’s recent memos, including the freezing of local governments and Local Council Development Area (LCDA) accounts, and the reassignment of the Chief of Protocol (COP) to Akeredolu. According to Ajisafe, these actions pose a threat to the office of the governor.

Highlighting the alleged political maneuvering, Ajisafe claimed that Aiyedatiwa’s failure to initiate reconciliation efforts during the Abuja peace meeting, coupled with the recruitment of non-state actors to protest for Akeredolu’s resignation, indicates a potential bid for succession.

Ajisafe said

“These are the people who are not seen when they are needed but always come when their services are needed. 

“When Owo was attacked, they were not seen. During covid 19, they were nowhere to be found. When herdsmen were on the prowl, they kept quiet. During the endsars protests, they did no protest. They only came when they had an agenda to push. 

“When they returned from Abuja the second term and Aiyedatiwa was made the Acting Governor, these people said Akeredolu was incapacitated and that he should relinquish the seat. 

“Section 189 of the constitution talked about permanent incapacitation, not as freely being used by these people. These are the people who are pushing an agenda capable of rocking the boat of progress in Ondo State.”

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