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ONDO: Akeredolu’s unending battles

By Dayo Johnson

SINCE his assumption of office in February 2017, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has been battling one form of battle or the other.

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Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

He seems to enjoy the controversies arising from the battles and have said publicly that he doesn’t care what people say about him.

Indeed, amid the battles, he appears unperturbed at least in the public but sulks in his closet. His critics believe that Akeredolu is not cut for the job because he doesn’t speak like a politician. He is too frank for the kind of politics played in this part of the World.

Many have complained about his “dry jokes” which are expensive and not expected from a man in his high office. This had earned him many political enemies because of his bluntness in serious and weighty political matters. But to him he is just being himself and believed that his new office cannot change him, not at this age.

Face-off with Tinubu

His face off with party leaders, especially National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu since 2016 has refused to abate. Rather, it has been worsened by the coming of the party’s new National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole who is believed to be Tinubu’s Man Friday.

His candidacy still being challenged

His candidature after the vexed governorship primaries is still being contested court. Tinubu’s preferred candidate, Olusegun Abraham and other party leaders who not in Akeredolu camp are still hopeful that the table could still be turned against the governor.

Opposition to Oshiomhole’s emergence

Akeredolu joined some APC governors to kick against the choice of Oshiomole, who was Tinubu’s choice, as APC chairman.  Expectedly, Akeredolu’s preferred candidates for the National Assembly seats were shut out in primaries.

His perceived enemy, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, who represents his senatorial district and two others, were given automatic tickets.  His candidates for the House of Representatives seats faced similar fate.

Akeredolu was humbled and the camp of the other faction threw a party while he vowed never to work for those he said were imposed on the state.

Cold relations with party leaders, Oke

Akeredolu relations with some party leaders led by former Ondo State Chairman, Hon lsaac Kekemeke and of recent the former Alliance for Democracy, AD, governorship candidate who defected to the party, Chief Olusola Oke, is frosty. Oke is complaining of humiliation and regretted returning to the APC because of alleged maltreatment by the governor and party leaders. Oke is scheduled to defect to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, any moment from now.

As it is now, Akrredolu is at war with leaders of the party both in the state and at the national secretariat. His deputy, Agboola Ajayi, stands in for him on matters that have to do with the national secretariat of the party.

Battle with civil servants

His battle with civil servants reached a crescendo during the week when he accused them of being selfish and ungrateful. Not when his administration paid some of the salary arrears owed by the immediate past administration and more importantly has paid them regularly in the last 22 months he has being in office.

The workers had threatened to down tool if the governor failed to pay them their outstanding salaries and leave bonuses from the N20b Paris club fund released by the Federal government.

The impeachment of the two principal officers in the House of Assembly has been linked to his trouble with the party’s national leaders. New speaker Olamide George and his deputy Bimbo Faloju led other 16 lawmakers to hibernate in neighbouring Oyo state following alleged threat to their lives.

Akeredolu has however given the seven lawmakers loyal to the impeached speaker, Bamidele Oloyelogun, all the security protection needed and they have even held plenary.

Members of the NURTW who invaded the Assembly and beat up the 18 lawmakers, journalist and staff of the assembly are daily keeping vigil at the Chambers to stop the ‘’rebellious lawmakers from taking over and impeaching the governor.”

Akeredolu’s face-off with some broadcast media attached to his office, who were allegedly ejected, recently, was promptly nipped in the bud with a clarification by his Media Manager, Yemi Olowolabi.

With some observers fingering external forces for the rumple in the assembly and some of the battles, it is to be seen if Akeredolu would win the war.

 

 


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