Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa
— We’re not aware, but ready for any eventuality – Police
By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Supporters of the embattled deputy governor of Ondo state, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa and that of the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, are set to stage a massive protest in Akure, the Ondo state capital, this week.
Plans for the protest were announced on various social media platforms over the weekend by loyalists of the deputy governor.
Supporters of Akeredolu, have replied that they too would stage a counter-protest.
The deputy governor’s supporters are demanding the immediate resignation of the governor and that he ( Aiyedatiwa be sworn in as the substantive governor.
The immediate member of the House of Representatives, Kokade Akinjo, is leading the push for a protest against Akeredolu.
Akinjo is a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), and he represented Ilaje/ Ese Odo Federal constituency in the National Assembly for eight years.
He was dropped as the state representative on the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), following a protest against his nomination by stakeholders in the ruling party across the state.
The former lawmaker, who expressed his intentions on social media, said, “All the progressives must be ready to join a full-day protest in Akure devoid of party colouration. A huge protest will send a message to all these democratic hawks and fools holding the Constitution to ransom.
“Ondo state is bleeding, and everything is happening to the state now. Corruption is at its peak, and we don’t know who is in the saddle. Let us go there. I am ready to lead. Eight years of legislative experience is not a joke. Dino said, you die once. I am tired of the rubbish happening in Ondo state.”
The protest, according to sources was said to be influenced by the recent decision of Justice Emeka Nwete of the Abuja High Court to hands off Aiyedatiwa’s case since it was already before the appellate court.
A top government source told Vanguard that ” tension has been rising in Aiyedatiwa’s camp over the possible outcome of the appeal court case, leading to the planned protests due to uncertainty regarding the fate of the deputy governor at the appellate court.
Also, in some social media platforms, the supporters of the governor vowed to counter every protest by supporters of Ayedatiwa.
They argued that the deputy governor was behind those calling on the governor to resign so that he could take over power.
According to them, Ayedatiwa was pushing for the resignation of the governor so that he can use the platform as the acting governor to edge out others interested in succeeding Akeredolu next year.
They vowed that Akeredolu would not resign and that Aiyedatiwa would not succeed him next because he has ” bitten more than he can chew” by discrediting his benefactor.
Meanwhile, a group in the state under the aegis the Ondo Congress for Progressives Front (OCPF) has called on the supporters of both the governor and his deputy “to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign in the state.
The group, in a statement by its coordinator Olayemi Oyekanmi, said that the planned protest would have adverse effects on the peace and security of the state.
Oyekanmi said “We have discovered plans by both Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa supporters to stage a massive protest in Akure, the state capital.
“As much as we recognize protest as a legitimate right of citizens, we are concerned about the security threat it poses to the state.
“We are calling on the security agencies to swing into action and prevent these planned protests from happening. It is in the interest of the peace and security of the state.
According to him “These concerned individuals should be brought to a round table and have meaningful discussions on their agitations. A clash of protests does not serve the interest of peace. We must avoid it.”
Contacted, the state spokesperson for the police command, Funmi Odunlami, said “We’re not aware of any planned protest in the state, but we’re ready for any eventuality.
Odunlami added “We’re on top of the situation, our men are on the ground and we’ll ensure peace and tranquillity across the state.