Akeredolu’s absence raises dust in Ondo, Govt denies cabinet split

By: Adeboye Ado

There have been huge concern in the last few days over the state of polity in Ondo State following the ill-health of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Rumour was rife last weekend that the Governor had passed away, but it was immediately debunked by the State Government, insisting that he is alive and not dead as widely speculated in many quarters.

“We have been inundated with calls and messages concerning the state of health of the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON. We had chosen to ignore this wicked fabrication until it appeared that certain persons seek to draw political mileage from the disinformation. 

“Though the Governor has been indisposed for sometime, he has been attending to state matters and delegating functions to functionaries of the Government, when necessary. We enjoin the members of the public to ignore the rumour. Aketi is very much alive, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju said.

This is even as a terse video of 11secs which surfaced online a few minutes after the Governor’s death was disproved, doused tension that had enveloped the entire state.

The short video as observed by The Cable, showed Akeredolu and some of his close associates watching the Manchester Derby FA Cup Clash. 

Nevertheless, some political watchers opined that the video was contrary to reports that the Governor was bedridden in his Ibadan residence, adding that Akeredolu is looking agile than what was already in the public domain.

As the Government was still grappling to clear the air, a group, Society for Women Empowerment (SWE), upbraided the Deputy Governor, Aiyedatiwa for allegedly beating his wife, Oluwaseun. 

The group in a statement by its National Coordinator, Mrs Damilola Charles, accused the deputy governor of repeatedly beating his wife, in the presence of his staff and friends.

Although, Ayedatiwa had since debunked claims that he was fond of beating up his wife.

The Deputy Governor, through his aide said, “It is uncharitable for anyone to claim that the Deputy Governor carried out ‘multiple assaults’ on his spouse who is out of the country. This is nothing but political blackmail taken too far.

“The said allegation of domestic abuse is a figment of the imagination of those behind it and their ungodly intentions to cause a crisis in the state had been known for weeks and therefore such falsehood did not come as a surprise.

“While His Excellency reserves the right to privacy on issues pertaining to his family, it is pertinent to state clearly that there has never been any domestic violence between the Deputy Governor and his lovely wife, Mrs Oluwaseun Aiyedatiwa, who at the moment is outside the shores of the country.

“It is not a secret that Mrs Oluwaseun Aiyedatiwa has lived and worked in the United Kingdom for many years before her husband became an elected public official in Nigeria and since then she has been shuttling between the United Kingdom and Nigeria to take care of the home and the children who are also in the United Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, the media was awashed on Thursday with reports of Akeredolu’s cabinet divided over alleged incapacitation of the Governor.

The report (not by Trace) claimed that the Governor’s cabinet was divided with some members of the State Executive Council taking sides with the Deputy Governor while some others remained hopeful that Akeredolu will assume duty as soon as he fully recuperates.

But in a swift reaction, the state government condemned the report, saying “this malicious report toes the same insidious path of perfidy already trodden by certain purveyors of speculatory hagiography designed to mislead unsuspecting members of the public.

“Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, is not incapacitated. The finality with which the report concluded on his state of health is most unfortunate. Another online medium had peddled the wicked lie on the demise of the Governor in Germany, when he was resting in Ibadan.

“The Cabinet cannot be “disunited” when directives emanate from the office of the Governor. There is no ambiguity in that respect. Members of the public are enjoined to disregard the wicked rumour of incapacitation.

“We reiterate that the Governor has been discharging the functions of his office effectively. Governance is collective. The fixation on the governor is mischievous. There is no crisis in the State. Political jobbers should steer clear.

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