Home » Ailing Ondo Governor Hands Over Power to Deputy, Flies to Germany

Ailing Ondo Governor Hands Over Power to Deputy, Flies to Germany

Political crisis in Nigerian state eases as Governor Akeredolu seeks medical treatment abroad and Deputy Governor Aiyedatiwa takes charge

by Victor Adetimilehin

The political crisis in Ondo State, Nigeria, has eased as Governor Rotimi Akeredolu handed over power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on Wednesday. Akeredolu, who is reportedly suffering from cancer, flew to Germany for further treatment.


The governor’s chief press secretary, Richard Olatunde, said in a statement that Akeredolu would prioritize his health and ensure a full recovery before resuming his official duties. He added that a formal letter regarding the medical leave and a notice formally transferring power in line with the Nigerian constitution would be transmitted to the House of Assembly.


Akeredolu’s absence had created a leadership vacuum in the state and the executive council was divided into two factions consisting of those loyal to the governor and loyalists of the deputy governor. The governor had also sacked all the media aides attached to the office of the deputy governor in September, citing insubordination and disregard for authority.


According to a report by Punch, the deputy governor was also facing impeachment proceedings initiated by some lawmakers who accused him of forgery and misconduct. However, the impeachment process was halted after a meeting between the state’s All Progressive Congress (APC) leaders and the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, on November 28.


The meeting was facilitated by the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, who met with the state’s political stakeholders in Abuja on Monday night. Tinubu, who is widely seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2023, urged the parties to resolve their differences and work together for the interest of the state and the party.


The meeting agreed that all impeachment proceedings be terminated and court cases be withdrawn by all parties. The deputy governor was also asked to write an undated resignation letter before he could assume office as the acting governor.


Aiyedatiwa, who took the oath of office on Wednesday, pledged to uphold the constitution and the rule of law. He also promised to continue the developmental projects and policies of the Akeredolu administration. He appealed to the people of Ondo State to support him and pray for the governor’s speedy recovery.


A group of civil society organizations, the Ondo State Conscience Movement, welcomed the peaceful transition of power and urged Aiyedatiwa to initiate an investigation into the allegations of forgery of Akeredolu’s signature by some cabinet members. The group said such action not only undermined the democratic fabric of the state but also compromised the allocation and utilization of resources.


The group also called for transparency and accountability in the governance of the state and urged the acting governor to champion the principles of justice and inclusiveness.


Ondo State, located in the south-western region of Nigeria, is one of the 36 states of the federation. It has a population of about 4.5 million people and is rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, cocoa, and timber.

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