Ondo: Tinubu Intervenes as Jostle for Gov Aiyedatiwa’s Deputy Begins

Ondo: Tinubu Intervenes as Jostle for Gov Aiyedatiwa’s Deputy Begins

  • There are indications that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is very keen on the political situation in Ondo State.
  • President Tinubu is said to have intervened in the search for a new state deputy governor.
  • While the President's preferred candidate is not specific and made official, some names have been mentioned as those in pole position for the coveted seat.

Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

Akure, Ondo - Just two days after being sworn in as the official governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa is potentially facing a new challenge regarding the selection of his deputy as he gears up for his responsibilities.

Reports suggest that Aiyedatiwa, who assumed office following the demise of his predecessor, Rotimi Akeredolu, is under pressure to announce his deputy governor, who will assist in governing the state.

Read also

Akeredolu: Is late Ondo governor Awolowo of our time? Yoruba chieftain speaks

President Bola Tinubu has seemingly intervened in the scramble for the new Ondo state deputy governor
Sources confirmed that President Bola Tinubu is very interested in Ondo State politics. Photo Credit: Lucky Aiyedatiwa
Source: Facebook

Sources indicate that choosing a deputy might be challenging for Aiyedatiwa, considering the political turmoil and disagreements surrounding his becoming governor after Akeredolu's death.

It is rumoured that Aiyedatiwa, still keeping his decision close to the chest, may opt for a deputy from the existing cabinet, particularly those who supported him during the political crisis that threatened his tenure.

A report by Daily Trust confirmed that sources have disclosed that the governor is exploring various options, contemplating whether to select a deputy from the Ondo Central Senatorial District or the Ondo North Senatorial District, which aligns with the late Akeredolu's zone.

Ondo governor begins consultation for deputy, as names emerge

Importantly, it is revealed that Aiyedatiwa, engaged in early consultations with political stakeholders and think-tank groups within and outside the state, is cautiously choosing his deputy, considering his aspirations to contest the governorship in 2024.

Read also

How Akeredolu helped reclaim my mandate in 2007, Aregbesola reveals

Aiyedatiwa, originally from Ilaje in the Ondo South Senatorial District, had aspirations for the Alagbaka governor seat until his relationship with his late mentor soured. A political crisis ensued, leading to impeachment proceedings against Aiyedatiwa over alleged disloyalty.

The State Assembly, under Speaker Olamide Oladiji, presented 14 charges of gross misconduct, including abuse of office, financial recklessness, and media publications tarnishing the Governor's credibility.

Sources indicate that potential candidates for the deputy governor position in the State Executive Council are Mr. Rasaq Obe, Commissioner for Energy and Water Resources, and Mr. Olugbenga Ale, Chief of Staff to the late Governor Akeredolu.

Obe, from Ilara Mokin, showed loyalty to Aiyedatiwa by exposing forgery within the cabinet, while Ale, from Owo, faced accusations of disloyalty after falling ill and delaying government handover.

Supporters advocating for Ale argue that his appointment would balance the political landscape in the state, serving as compensation for Akeredolu, who couldn't complete his tenure before passing away.

Read also

How Akeredolu's demise might affect southwest, Yoruba council worldwide speaks

President Tinubu intervenes

However, as the competition for the deputy governor position unfolded, a source within the government informed Daily Trust that President Bola Tinubu, who has been actively involved in the state's politics, had already intervened in selecting Aiyedatiwa's deputy.

The insider disclosed that Tinubu exerted his influence on Thursday by summoning Aiyedatiwa to a private meeting at the president's Ikoyi residence in Lagos.

During this meeting, the prospect of the deputy governor seat was thoroughly discussed.

Despite disapproving of some of Aiyedatiwa's actions following Akeredolu's passing, the president emphasised that the selection of the deputy should not escalate into another political crisis in the state.

The source said:

“The shopping for who becomes the deputy governor obviously has begun but President Tinubu has intervened now by summoning Aiyedatiwa to a private meeting yesterday (Thursday) night in Lagos.
“The names rumoured in the state are outside the cards of Tinubu as I speak with you. He wants someone who would not give Aiyedatiwa another crisis in the state because it’s glaring that the president has his full eyes on Ondo politics, and he also wants his men, especially those who will carry on the legacies of late governor Akeredolu.

Read also

BREAKING: Ondo commissioner resigns after Akeredolu's death

“Don’t forget how the president penned his tribute to condole the family of Akeredolu over his shocking death a few days ago. He actually has Akeredolu in his heart considering how the former governor stood tall and fought gallantly when the ruling APC was also shopping for its presidential candidate in the presidential election.”

Who is APC's candidate?

As anticipation builds for the selection of Aiyedatiwa's deputy, investigations suggest that the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership is considering Ifedayo Abegunde for the role.

Abegunde, also known as Abena, currently serves as the Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a recent appointment by the President.

Hailing from Akure, Abegunde previously held the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) position during Akeredolu's first term but fell out with the former governor after the primary, leading to his exclusion from office in the subsequent term.

Read also

Aiyedatiwa: List of aides who resigned after Akeredolu's death

Inside sources within the party suggest that there may be efforts from the presidency, supported by the National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Ganduje, to influence the selection of Abegunde as the deputy governor.

The source said:

“Abena is among the choice of the presidency for the deputy governor’s seat and he’s also being considered but how Tinubu and the party in Abuja want to walk their way for his acceptance is what we don’t know yet but he’s not a wrong choice.
“I know Aiyedatiwa is under pressure over the choice of his deputy but the decision of Tinubu over the slot for the seat would also go a long way as the people await the announcement by early next year.”

Revealed: 2 Nigerian politicians Aiyedatiwa may appoint as Ondo deputy governor

Meanwhile, a new leader has taken charge in Ondo state as Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa assumes office.

Read also

“A champion of democracy”: Oyo APC reacts as Akeredolu dies at 67, sends message to Tinubu, Ganduje

Aiyedatiwa officially became the governor on December 27, succeeding the late Ondo state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who passed away after a prolonged struggle with cancer.

However, Aiyedatiwa now seeks a reliable deputy to support him in his new role as the oil and cocoa-rich state leader.

Source: Legit.ng

Online view pixel