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Akeredolu to Oke: Asking me to step down is laughable

•As Ajayi tells gov he has 21 days to hand over to him

 

 

T

he Ondo State government has described as ludicrous recent claims by one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial aspirants, Chief Olusola Oke (SAN), that he made overtures to Governor Rotimi Akerodolu to step down for him ahead of the election.

 

This is even as the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, has said that Akeredolu has 21 days to hand over power to him or the constitution would be invoked.

 

 

Senior special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr. Doyin Odebowale, who was responding to Oke’s claims, added that such statement made by the APC candidate to journalists after the submission of his nomination and declaration of interest forms in Abuja, should excite not only sympathy but also grave concern for perception of some public figures.

 

 

Oke, the controversial Unity Forum candidate claimed that he had been “reaching out” to the Governor Akeredolu with a view to having him step down for his aspiration to govern the state.

 

 

Odebowale said it is laughable that any aspirant could ask the incumbent governor of the state with the largest concentration of enlightened and informed people to negotiate with a local champion who has never won a pan-Ondo State or even a Senatorial election since he joined politics.

 

He said: “It is laughable to see a man who re-joined the APC after suffering the most crushing defeat in the last gubernatorial election in the state, boast of his political stature necessitating exigent intervention. It is sad indeed that the man who alleged that he lost the gubernatorial primaries in 2016 because of phantom 300 votes allegedly given to an opponent and the eventual winner could not use his popularity to win on another political platform, the moribund Alliance for Democracy, (AD), resuscitated to promote treachery.”

 

 

Odebowale said that unlike Akeredolu, who won the 2016 election, Oke only: “Flaunts some specious credentials of service won in two local government areas in 2012 and 2016. He had earlier attempted to be in the National Assembly twice and failed while he was the Chairman of OSOPADEC and a member of the NDDC, he can hardly point to many projects he executed in the state.”

 

 

According to him, Governor Akeredolu will be seeking the support of the good people of Ondo State to serve, yet again, and will be depending on his performance as his score card will be presented to the people to afford them the opportunity to choose between proven altruistic service and other aspirants.

 

 

Meanwhile, reacting to a statement on Friday by Akeredolu, who is currently receiving treatment for COVID-19, that he would not hand over to his Deputy in acting capacity, Ajayi insisted that the governor has 21 days to hand over power to him or the constitution would be invoked.

 

 

The Deputy Governor, who spoke through his Media Adviser, Comrade Allen Sowore, said Section 190(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) was apposite in this circumstance even as he continues to pray for Akeredolu’s quickest recovery.

 

 

He said the governor was at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational.

 

According to him: “Refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy while in self-isolation and temporarily incapacitated underscore his absolute disregard for the rule of law; a spite on the people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.”

 

 

Both men have been at daggers drawn since Ajayi decided to dump the ruling APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in order to fulfil his ambition of having a crack at the Ondo State Government House currently occupied by Akeredolu.

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