Apparently determined to stave off any constitutional lacuna created by the ailment of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ondo State, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday met with members of the state House of Assembly, the state’s deputy governor,
Lucky Aiyedatiwa and other key stakeholders in the state. Some of the stakeholders who accompanied the deputy governor and the lawmakers to the meeting with the president at the presidential villa are commissioners, aides to ailing Governor Akeredolu and some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The meeting held behind closed doors in Aso Rock, LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered, was a direct response to the plea by some prominent persons in the state and the South West with President Tinubu to intervene in the crisis in the state over alleged incapacitation of Governor Akeredolu who is said to be practically bed-ridden by illness.
Although details of the meeting with the president was sketchy at the time of filing this report, it was learnt that based on President Tinubu’s engagement with the lawmakers, the deputy governor, Aiyedatiwa, may be sworn in as acting governor of the state.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State House of Assembly has been deserted following the seeming political logjam occasioned by the intractable feud between Governor Akeredolu and his deputy, Hon. Aiyedatiwa.
The planned sitting of the members of the Assembly to address the impasse on Friday was shifted because of yesterday’s meeting with the president in Abuja. When LEADERSHIP Weekend visited the Assembly complex yesterday, only civil servants were seen going about their official duties.
The security men attached to the Assembly were also at their duty post. However, there were no additional security personnel to suggest an imminent crisis in the Assembly.
It was gathered that members of the Assembly had scheduled a meeting for Friday morning but were held back in Abuja for the Aso Rock meeting. According to a source, the members had planned to officially transfer power to the deputy governor in acting capacity at their planned sitting this Friday morning. LEADERSHIP Weekend however gathered that the meeting had been rescheduled to later in the day.
The lawmakers are said to be divided over the issue, with 11 of them supporting the declaration of the governor as incapacitated and Aiyedatiwa as acting governor.
However, Akeredolu’s loyalists in the APC and the state executive council are reportedly demanding the resignation of Aiyedatiwa to pave the way for the Speaker of the House to become acting governor.
They said elevating Aiyedatiwa to acting governor would amount to rewarding him for disloyalty to his principal. But Akeredolu’s supporters also acknowledged that they do not have the number in the state legislature to force the removal of the deputy governor from office.