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Ondo: The Hue And Cry Over Signature Forgery | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Dec 9, 2023




Ondo, the Sunshine State, has recently been the center of attention. It is no longer news that the vibrant and courageous governor of the state, our respected Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, is currently indisposed. Despite the immunity his office enjoys, he is susceptible to falling ill, as no one is a superhuman.

Akeredolu is a governor who has left an indelible mark on the history of Ondo State. His impacts and accomplishments extend beyond the boundaries of the state. He is known for his strong voice and courageous stance. He stood up for the Yoruba race during the killing spree by herdsmen. Akeredolu challenged the audacity of some northerners who attempted to retain power after the eight-year rule of Muhammadu Buhari. He was a leading advocate for a southern presidency.

As a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Aketi, as he is fondly called, is known for his advocacy of true federalism, power devolution, and equality in politics. He is an honest politician, a rarity in the corridors of power. He is known for his straightforwardness and truthfulness, yet he remains loyal. This legal luminary turned politician from Owo has chosen to follow in the footsteps of the late sage, Pa. Obafemi Awolowo, and his kinsman, Late Adekunle Ajasin.

Since June 2023, the government of the state has been embroiled in a protracted crisis. It appears that the Deputy Governor is in a hurry to step into his boss’s shoes. While Akeredolu was recuperating in Germany, the embattled Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, was scheming to take over as the Governor of the state. It is no longer hidden that Aiyedatiwa was behind the series of media attacks on Akeredolu.

A sinister plot had already been orchestrated. Aiyedatiwa and his team had already made plans for the post-Akeredolu era. Despite not having access to the governor, they were making serious plans for his funeral. It is disheartening to wish ill upon a man who has shown you kindness.

These plans were frustrated by Akeredolu’s return to Nigeria. Those who attended the Ibadan meeting a day after Akeredolu’s return confirmed the disbelief and disappointment written all over Aiyedatiwa’s face. He was surprised that the governor made it back home. What followed was an aggressive display of shattered expectations.

Just yesterday, Lucky’s anointed Deputy Governorship hopeful, Rasaq Obe, raised an alarm about alleged forgery of the Governor’s signatures. He wrote a letter addressed to the Deputy Governor to protest the alleged forgery and asked him to investigate. It is too convenient for Obe to suddenly discover a forged signature. Moreover, there is credible information that Obe received approvals for N150m to organize DevelopOndo and another N26m to renovate his office between June and now.

It is a sheer show of disrespect and unbridled pride for this commissioner to have taken the governor’s signature for forensic analysis. The truth is that Obe knows what he is doing. They know that no one is forging the governor’s signature. We all know that Akeredolu is sick and still recuperating, which may result in irregular signatures.

What baffles us is why Obe wrote a protest letter to the Deputy Governor. Is it the Deputy Governor’s signature that is allegedly forged? Why did he not write to the governor? Why did he not address the letter to the owner of the forged signature? Who is Obe to have taken the Governor’s signature for a forensic audit? Many questions are begging for answers.

It is evident that the noise about the forged signature is part of a grand plan by Aiyedatiwa and his associates to force the governor to transfer power to him. Aiyedatiwa has disregarded the rules of engagement and has gone all out. He detests the governor for not dying already. He has spent a considerable amount on a needless battle and has set his eyes on the state treasury to recover from his financial mess.

So, the next time you read anything about a forged signature, it is all part of a game plan. It is meant to deceive the people of the state. The plan is to portray the governor as incapacitated and incite a move to forcefully take power from Akeredolu. Aiyedatiwa is behind it all. That is why Obe wrote that letter to the Deputy Governor and not Akeredolu. It is truly unfortunate. Aiyedatiwa, Obe, and their cohorts are kicking a man who is already down. That is wicked.

High Chief Ogundele Johnson,


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