President Bola Tinubu has directed ailing Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State to transfer power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, according to Sahara Reporters
However, the transfer of power will be done by electronic signature (e-signature) as the ailing governor is too weak to sign any document.
Tinubu reportedly told people at the meeting he had summoned to resolve the leadership crisis in Ondo on Monday that Akeredolu was incapacitated and could not sign a letter anymore.
It was reported on Sunday that President Tinubu had summoned the state deputy governor, Aiyedatiwa and House of Assembly Speaker, Olamide Oladiji to Aso Villa in Abuja for an urgent meeting slated for Monday.
Sources had told newsmen that Tinubu would ask that the deputy governor should be allowed to act as governor, to resolve the leadership crisis in the state.
Monday’s emergency meeting was the second one summoned by the President to resolve the leadership crisis in the state following the governor’s absence from office since July 2023.
The meeting at the instance of Tinubu was due to mounting pressure from the civil society organisation Take-It-Back, which had threatened to commence mass protests across Ondo State from Saturday, December 16 to demand Akeredolu’s resignation.
The ailing governor has gone AWOL since returning to Nigeria in September from a three-month medical leave in Germany.
Apart from Aiyedatiwa and Oladiji, Akeredolu’s son, Babajide, who was appointed by the governor in November 2021 as the Director General of the Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit, Office of the Governor of Ondo State (PPIMU), was one of those present at the meeting.
The senator representing Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim, was also present.
Sources told newsmen that it was first agreed that the State House of Assembly should invoke the doctrine of necessity to make Aiyedatiwa the acting governor, but some of those present pleaded with President Tinubu that it would humiliate the ailing governor.
“During the meeting, it was agreed that the State House of Assembly should invoke the doctrine of necessity and make Lucky Ayedatiwa the Acting Governor, but the Speaker and Senator Jimoh Ibrahim pleaded that the ailing governor would be humiliated,” one of the sources said.
“The son (Babajide) then promised to go and obtain his father’s e-signature to pen a letter to the State House of Assembly, transferring power to the deputy governor.”
Sources at the meeting also disclosed that someone raised concern that since there was already a case of forgery established in handling the affairs of the state, it would not make sense for power to be transferred through such dubious means.
It was reported on Sunday reported that a pro-democracy organisation, Take-It-Back Movement would organise a town hall meeting in Akure on Saturday, December 16 to call for Governor Akeredolu to resume office or resign.
The event will also mark the commencement of street protests to call for the resignation of the ailing governor who has not set foot in his state since July 2023, the report added.
Omoyele Sowore, the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 and 2023 presidential elections, on Sunday, also called on Governor Akeredolu to return to office and perform his constitutional duty as governor of the state or resign.
Sowore, in a post shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle disclosed that there would be a town hall meeting and beginning of street protests in Akure, the state capital and across the state on December 16, to demand Akeredolu’s resignation.
He wrote: “There will be a Townhall Meeting & a beginning of Street Protests In Akure and across Ondo state on Saturday December 16th 2023!
“All persons of conscience are invited! #GovAkeredoluMustResign #RevolutionNow.”
According to a flyer announcing the event, the town hall meeting organised by the Take-It-Back Movement and themed ‘Akeredolu; Resume Or Resign,’ will be held by noon on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at Akure Town Hall on Oba Adeside Road in Akure.