Barring divine intervention, the incumbent deputy governor of Ondo state, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, may face imminent removal from office as the state House of Assembly has initiated impeachment proceedings against him due to alleged serious misconduct.
The crisis began with the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, maintaining a cordial relationship with his deputy before his medical trip to Germany.
However, while Akeredolu was away receiving treatment, the unity within his administration started to fracture due to political maneuvering by those vying to succeed him in next year’s governorship election.
Exploiting the governor’s absence and health issues, these individuals engaged in questionable political tactics.
According to reports, there were claims that loyalists of the deputy governor spread false information about the governor’s deteriorating health in order to allow the deputy to take over power completely.
However, Aiyedatiwa has denied this and accused certain individuals in the government of trying to create a rift between him and the governor, thus straining their relationship.
The baseless rumor about the governor’s health caused division within the state executive council and exacerbated the situation, leading to a significant divide among the executive members. Political maneuvering took precedence over governance during the governor’s three-month absence in Germany.
It was alleged that the deputy governor managed to gain the support of some council members by assuring them that they would be properly compensated when he eventually assumed the role of governor due to the governor’s health condition.
While Akeredolu was struggling to survive in a German hospital, the power struggle within the state executive council was still ongoing. Unfortunately, Akeredolu was receiving daily reports on the secret meetings and political maneuvers being carried out by those trying to seize power while he was away.
One of the main points of contention was the refusal of the governor to hand over power to the deputy governor, which led to his loyalists publicly expressing their concerns about a potential constitutional crisis.
As it became clear that Akeredolu’s medical leave would be prolonged, he took the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition of power. He wrote a letter to the state assembly requesting an extension and subsequently transferred his authority to his deputy.
Immediately after this action, the focus shifted towards the politics of Akeredolu’s succession and governance took a backseat.
Those who were still loyal to Akeredolu within the divided executive council and aspired to succeed him believed that Aiyedatiwa would use his new position to gain an unfair advantage over them in the upcoming election.
As a result, everyone in the executive council had to choose sides between the ailing governor and the acting governor. Some members of the executive even speculated that Akeredolu might not survive his illness and would eventually resign.
There were rumors circulating that Aiyedatiwa may have secretly orchestrated statements from opposition political parties in the state, urging Akeredolu to hand over power to him or step down due to his poor health and absence from work, thus discrediting his leadership of the state through a proxy.