By Dayo Johnson
THE resignation of the Ondo state Secretary to the State Government SSG, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde barely two weeks after that of the deputy governor Hon Agboola Ajayi has jolted the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and members of the State Executive Council EXCO.
This was sequel to the resignation of the second and third high ranking members of the cabinet within this short period.
Although Abegunde, a former member of the House of Representatives had remained an onlooker in the government for over a year, those in government never thought he would throw in the towel few months to the election.
He had been complaining that all his responsibilities had been shared to others in government especially to close allies of the governor
Abegunde, a grassroot politician had even vacated his office for months after the relationship between him and the governor became frosty following some irreconcilable differences.
Abegunde had not hidden his objection to the second term ambition of Akeredolu.
Many believed that his closeness to the deputy governor Hon Agboola Ajayi who also had a frosty relationship with the governor until he defected to the opposition party was one of his albatross.
Party leaders in the state had pointedly asked Akeredolu to sack Abegunde for disloyalty after a meeting he and the deputy governor held with some PDP leaders in the state ahead of Ajayi defection leaked to them.
When Abegunde was confronted, he didn’t deny the meeting with the leaders of the opposition party.
But the governor turned down the request of his sack just as he did to the impeachment of his defected deputy.
However, Akeredolu according to government sources had finally bought into the impeachment drive.
Abegunde according to his aides would soon join his friend, Ajayi in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to campaign against the re-election of Akeredolu.
Although he did not give any reason for his resignation but Vanguard gathered that he was not well treated by the governor and his kitchen cabinet known as the “Team Aketi”.
Sources close to him told vanguard that his resignation could be traced to the relegation of his office and person in the government.
“We are even surprised that he stayed this long because he was more or less a figurehead SSG as he just held the position by title with no responsibility,”
Abegunde appointment by Akeredolu over three years ago, however, did not enjoy acceptability but Akeredolu insisted that it was for political expediency to give a sense of belonging to the Central Senatorial District where he hails from.
Sources said he took over a year before he was bought an official vehicle while his monthly impress was slashed.
One of his aides told Vanguard that he was sidelined and impoverished to the extent that he could not take care of those in his constituency.
” Even appointments in his constituency were done behind him.
” They only remember him anytime they want him to sign MoU on behalf of the state government.
The former SSG had stopped attending government activities for months while he also shunned the burial ceremony of the mother of the first lady, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu held in lmo state months back.
Abegunde equally shunned the trip to Abuja by the governor, state lawmakers and his cabinet members to pick and submit his nomination form for his second term in office.
He was at the same time conspicuously absent during the visit of the council of Obas to endorse the governor for a second term in office.
The state government was yet to react to the development but Vanguard gathered that Akeredolu is shopping for another grassroots politician from the central senatorial district as a replacement to Abegunde.