By Dayo Johnson
THE embattled deputy governor of Ondo State, Hon Agboola Ajayi Sunday said he was not desperate for power but it’s a constitutional provision that power should be transmitted to the deputy if the governor is incapacitated.
His Media Adviser, Allen Sowore was reacting to the media backlash which trailed the 21-day ultimatum given to governor Rotimi Akeredolu to hand over to him as stipulated in the constitution.
Sowore in a statement in Akure entitled ” Agboola Ajayi Is Not Desperate To Get Power” said that he was “backed by the Nigerian Constitution to request that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu hands over power to him after 21 days.
However, he accused the media of a deliberate twist of his intentions.
According to him ” I made reference to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria in relation to the conditions which can trigger the constitutional clause on automatic transfer of power to a deputy governor when the governor is temporarily incapacitated in relation to the prevailing circumstances in the Ondo State.
“The statement has since gained national traction. However, my reference to the provisions of the Constitution has been deliberately taken out of context to the effect that some National Newspapers headlines twisted the statement to mean that Ondo State Deputy Governor, Alfred Agboola Ajayi demanded that Arakunrin Akeredolu should hand over government to him within 21 days.
“I wish to state without any fear of contradiction that the political flavour added to my reference to extant constitutional provision on a purely constitutional matter represents deliberate mischief intended to portray the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi as someone who’s desperate to get power. This is far from it.
“I daresay that it is the sacred duty of the media to inform the public about the correct position of law on all issues of national importance without fear or favour. Citing the provision of the Constitution does not, as in the instance case, mean the invocation of that mention or the issuance of an ultimatum.
“The drafters of the constitution, relying on our country’s recent experience, have inserted relevant provisions in it to safeguard our democracy from the rule of men and their selfish interests.
” We are praying fervently for the quickest recovery of Mr Governor so that he can resume at his duty post as soon as possible.
” We insist that It is at Mr Governor’s discretion to handover the running of government or not based on the constitutional provision(s). Regardless of our interests, history is recording all our actions and inactions at this auspicious time.
” The Deputy Governor has always been available to carry out the onerous task of governance. But Agboola Ajayi is not in any way desperate for power as the news portrayed him. After all, power truly belongs to God and the people.
” I must mention that all the misunderstandings and misconception between the Governor and his Deputy from the onset were orchestrated and amplified by desperate politicians from the Southern Senatorial District, who are surreptitiously scheming to be deputy governor.
Sowore pointed out that ” what’s paramount to the deputy governor is good governance and the prioritisation of the welfare of the good people of Ondo State.