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COVID-19 Status: I can’t hand over to my deputy, he’s a threat –Akeredolu

•I’m not bothered, I’ve been sidelined before now –Deputy gov
•12 aspirants obtain APC nomination forms for N258m

Following the isolation of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, due to Covid-19 related illness, tongues had been wagging in the state, on whether the state helmsman should have handed over to his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, or not. Some political players, especially those loyal to the deputy governor, within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All progressives Congress (APC), had faulted the action of the governor, for not allowing Ajayi to be in the saddle while he is off the radar. Political observers in the state are of the view that since Akeredolu would be in isolation after his COVID-19 result returned positive, his deputy should have been operating in acting capacity pending the recovery of his boss.

‘Ajayi can’t be trusted with governance’

However, the recuperating governor would have none of that as he has fired back, giving his reasons for not handing over to the number-two man in the state, while implying that Ajayi cannot be trusted with state matters.

Akeredolu who spoke through his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, said it is a non-issue that Akeredolu is not handing over governance to Ajayi while insisting that he will not hand over the running of the state to his deputy. The governor also denied reports that government activities are grounded as a result of the governor’s absence from public sphere while describing his deputy as the greatest threat to good governance in the state.

‘I’m not bothered, I’ve been sidelined’

However, the embattled deputy governor has said that he is not bothered whether his boss makes him an acting governor or not. Ajayi, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo, stated that judging by precedents, he knew that the governor won’t allow him to rule in his absence.

Noting that he is not bothered if his boss makes him acting governor or not, he added that he does not see that happening considering that they had parted ways politically. “For now, there is no need for any anxiety about the governor’s state of health. He has said that he will be treating files while in isolation. That means governance won’t be affected. Since he is not incapacitated, there is no need for doctrine of necessity and we are not bothered with that. “And you know the political situation in Ondo State now. Both the governor and the deputy governor are in different political camps, so we don’t expect it and we are not bothered about it, because before now, the governor had sidelined the deputy governor in the day to day running of the activities of government. “In the constitution, he ought to have transmitted a letter but when you look at it from the political angle, the governor will not do it and we are not bothered. Everybody knows that we are in different political parties. Likening the case to what had happened in the past during a similar occurrence at the federal level, the spokesman of the deputy governor said it is not a new thing to be sidelined in Nigeria. “Do you remember that when the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua was sick, he didn’t transmit any letter, giving power to his then deputy, former President Goodluck Jonathan, until the National Assembly invoked the doctrine of necessity to make him acting president. “Even when President Muhammadu Buhari was sick, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) said he can work from anywhere as President. The late Abba Kyari was the one taking files to him in London while he was recuperating”, he said.

12 aspirants obtain APC nomination forms for N258m

This is coming as the 12 aspirants from Ondo State have obtained the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket for the total cost of N258.27m. The cost of an aspirant forms is N22.5 million. The breakdown of the aspirants showed that Akeredolu and 10 other males paid N247:50 million at the rate of N22.5 million per expression of interest and nomination forms by each aspirant. The only female aspirant of the list, Mrs. Olajumoke Olubusola Anifowoshe, however, paid N11.25 million. This is in line with the guideline in the time table and schedule of activities for the conduct of 2020 governorship primary election in the state as released by the party. At the close of submission of expression of interest and nomination forms on Thursday, the 12 aspirants who obtained the forms had submitted their forms. Among the aspirants were three who contested for the party’s ticket with the incumbent in 2016 and are also in the race again for the party’s ticket at the July 20 governorship primary election. Also in the race are the founding state chairman of the party, Chief Isaac Duerimini Kekemeke; former deputy clerk of the National Assembly, Chief Olayide Adelami; Amb. Olusola Iji, Odimayo Okunjimi, Ifeoluwa Olusola Oyedele, Awodeyi Akinsehinwa Akinola and Nathaniel Olumuyiwa Adojutelegan. The only female aspirant in the pack, Mrs. Anifowoshe, is the daughter of the first execu-tive governor of the old Ondo State, Chief Adekunle Ajasin. The governorship primary election holds on July 20 and election appeal is scheduled for July 22.

Wike heads Edo campaign

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) screening committee said two out of the nine aspirants who appeared before it failed to meet its criteria. This is just as party has named Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike as Chairman of its National Campaign Council for the September 19 Edo governorship election. Chairman of the screening committee, Yakubu Dogara who briefed journalists after the exercise, however said the affected aspirants have the opportunity to present their grievances to the Appeal Committee, which would sit on Monday. Dogara who did not mention the names of the affected aspirants, said the committee has no power to disqualify any aspirant. “I am not happy to report this to you. But that is that two (aspirants) failed the test. But that is not to say that they have been disqualified because we don’t have the powers to disqualify anybody. “There is still the opportunity of redress at the appeal panel, which will sit on Monday.

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