COVID-19: Akeredolu ‘ll not Hand over to Deputy, Says Govt


I’m not bothered about handing over to me, replies Ajayi

By James Sowole

Ondo State Government yesterday said it would not be handing over to the estranged Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, during the period that the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu is undergoing treatment for COVID-19.

Reacting, Ajayi said he was not bothered whether his boss, Akeredolu handed over to him or not in view of his COVID-19 status. He stated this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Babatope Okeowo saying that COVID-19 status of the governor had not made him incapacitated

The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo, made the declaration while speaking with journalists in Akure on governance and COVID-19 in the state.

Akeredolu had early in the week said he would be performing his functions as the governor of the state while in isolation, stating that he was asymptomatic despite being confirmed positive for COVID- 19.
There had been insinuation from some quarters that Akeredolu should hand over to his deputy pending when he would recover fully from the infection.

Speaking with journalists, Ojogo said the governor would not be advised to hand over to his deputy.
“The deputy governor had left our party and he had left governance. We in the government see Agboola Ajayi as a big threat to governance in Ondo State.

“We witnessed what happened in the state in 1983. Some of us were in Secondary School then when the Late Akin Omoboriowo did to the Late Chief Adekunle Ajasin what Ajayi did to Akeredolu.

“Ajayi had created unusual scenario and he had acted treacherously which portends danger for the state.
“The governor declared in his address that he was going to perform his duties while in isolation and he had been doing so. Governance is not grounded.

“It happened in Kaduna State and governance was not grounded even when the governor and his deputy were under treatment almost at the same time.

“Mr. Governor is healthy. He was never incapacitated. COVID-19 is never a death sentence.

“Agboola Ajayi want to take over the governance from back door and that was why he was sponsoring write up to suggest that there is a vacuum. There is no vacuum. Governance is ongoing and I am speaking for the government,” Ojogo stated.

However, Ajayi said that with precedents, he was not bothered if his boss made him acting governor adding that he does not see that happening considering that they had parted ways politically.

“The constitution is so explicit about it that when the President or the Governor is incapacitated, the vice or the deputy takes over but in this case the governor is not incapacitated. It is only when he is incapacitated that the doctrine of necessity will be come into play.

“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.

“And you know the political situation in Ondo State now. Both the governor and the deputy governor are in different political camp, 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. There is nothing unusual in what he did.

“In the constitution, he ought to have transmitted letter but when you look at it from political angle, the governor will not do it and we are not bothered. We are bothered because we know we are in different political parties.

“So, since he is not incapacitated, there is no need for doctrine of necessity and we are not bothered with that.

He further stated that “Do you know that when Yar’Adua was sick he didn’t transmit letter giving power to Jonathan until the National Assembly invoked the doctrine of necessity to make him acting president.

“Even when President Buhari was sick, the Attorney General of the Federation said he can work from anywhere as President. The late Abba Kyari was the one taking files to him in London where he was recuperating,” Ajayi stated.