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Impeachment: Why APC Reconciliation Committee Failed In Ondo | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Oct 25, 2023

 

The protracted crisis in Ondo State surrounding the impeachment of Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has deepened following renewed efforts by the deputy governor to remove his boss, Rotimi Akeredolu on health ground.

This development contradicted the objectives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) reconciliation committee, which was set-up by the National chairman of the party, Abdullahi Ganduje.

The committee had engaged with APC members in the State House of Assembly and instructed them to cease the impeachment process of the deputy governor. The party expressed its commitment to exploring political solutions to address the impasse in the state and restore peace.

In response, the House of Assembly expressed support for the reconciliation committee’s intervention and requested that the deputy governor withdraw the court cases initiated against the House as a gesture of his willingness to embrace peace.

The House of Assembly stated in a statement by its spokesperson, Hon. Olatunji Oshati Emmanuel, “The House hopes that the Deputy-Governor will take immediate steps to withdraw the multiple court cases he filed regarding the same impeachment, allowing stakeholders to freely discuss settlement proposals and preventing actions or comments on a matter that is still sub judice.”

This move by the House of Assembly faced criticism from some political observers who argued that the impeachment process was not purely a party affair. Some also contended that given the allegations against the deputy governor concerning financial misappropriation and embezzlement, it was essential for him to address these charges out of respect for the taxpayers of the state.

However, in a surprising turn of events, Aiyedatiwa, who had relocated to Abuja, returned to Akure, the state capital. He released a brief statement expressing appreciation to the people of the state for their support but conspicuously omitted the Governor’s name, fueling suspicion of a looming showdown.

His statement read, “Let me thank you all for standing by me and for standing for fairness, equity, and justice. Your names will go down in the political history of Ondo State. What you may not know is that we are not only extinguishing lies, falsehood, and witch-hunting in politics, but we are also making history for ourselves. This note is to express my deep appreciation for your support and to inform you that I am in Akure, in my office. Warmest and kindest regards.”

Shortly after the statement was released and circulated, it received criticism and backlash. The deputy governor’s media handlers subsequently withdrew the statement from circulation, deleting it from social media and other platforms.

Aiyedatiwa’s statement, along with noticeable changes in his appearance, particularly his now clean-shaven face, signaled his reluctance to reconcile with the governor.

Aiyedatiwa had maintained a white beard, similar to his boss, Governor Akeredolu. When the governor picked Aiyedatiwa as his running mate in 2020, many considered Akeredolu to have brought in a younger brother due to their white-beards look.

In recent days, Akure, the state capital, has witnessed prolonged disputes as various groups mobilised to bring the governor into the public spotlight.

Some well-known groups handling media and publicity for the deputy governor have filed a lawsuit against the governor, requesting him to disclose his health status. This group has been actively defending Aiyedatiwa since the beginning of the impeachment saga.

Another group, known as Ondo Liberation Movement, has called on the President to intervene in the state’s political impasse, claiming that Akeredolu is incapacitated and inaccessible. They accused his family and associates of denying him access to medical care. The group suggested that Akeredolu should hand over the government to Lucky Aiyedatiwa and seek medical treatment abroad.

These claims were contradicted by a video from the Southwest governors’ visit to Governor Akeredolu in Ibadan, where he appeared to be in good health and high spirits. The video and images showed that the governor had even gained weight since his return to the country in September.

Aiyedatiwa has been fingered as the mastermind behind the protests, press conferences, and court cases initiated against the governor by these groups.

Leaders of the Sunshine Liberation Movement, namely Taiwo Gbamila, Biyi Poroye, and Alabi Johnson, are known allies of the deputy governor and have intensified their public attacks on the governor, spreading stories of his incapacitation.

Sources suggest that in addition to his refusal to withdraw the court cases, the deputy governor has demonstrated his unwillingness to allow peace to prevail in the state, indicating his readiness to confront Akeredolu.

This recent development appeared to have undermined the efforts of the APC reconciliation committee.

 

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