Akeredolu Didn’t Anoint Aiyedatiwa as Successor, Says Ex-gov’s Spokesman 

Insists late Ondo leader’s followers, family, won’t support governor’s aspiration

Fidelis David in Akure

Richard Olatunde, the former Chief Press Secretary to the late Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday warned Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to stop exploiting the deceased governor’s name for political gain.

Olatunde emphasised that both Akeredolu’s family and his ardent supporters across the state strongly object to Aiyedatiwa’s ‘deceptive’ tactics.

The former spokesperson was reacting to Aiyedatiwa’s claim that the late governor desired that he succeeded him.

Olatunde stated that the narrative regarding the alleged wish of Akeredolu, for  Aiyedatiwa to succeed him had gone too far to be disregarded.

“This narrative began even before our leader was laid to rest. Out of respect and utmost reverence for our late governor, we chose not to engage with those spreading this narrative.

“While we acknowledge that the political atmosphere in the state is intensifying, we want to unequivocally state that the late governor did not anoint or express a desire for Aiyedatiwa to succeed him. On the contrary, the relationship between the late governor and Aiyedatiwa became strained and distant until his passing.

“Despite attending to official matters and meeting people from Akure, the late governor intentionally kept Mr. Aiyedatiwa, who was the deputy governor at the time, away from him in Ibadan.

“Our late governor was deeply disappointed and regretful of certain behaviours and character traits displayed by Mr. Aiyedatiwa during his health challenges, which ultimately led to his passing.

“We have also observed the circulation of a video recorded during the swearing in ceremony of the late governor and Mr. Aiyedatiwa as governor and deputy governor, respectively. Undoubtedly, our late governor had high hopes for Mr. Aiyedatiwa. The late Akeredolu never concealed his intentions.

“One thing that discerning minds can clearly see is the turn of events in the latter half of last year was that trust was betrayed, confidence was shattered. And the true colours of desperation overshadowed the good intentions of our late governor. What followed was a tale of disappointment and betrayal. Our late leader, to say the least, was heartbroken before his demise,” Olatunde said.

He therefore, cautioned Aiyedatiwa to desist from what he described as deceptive tactics and focus on his campaign.

Aiyedatiwa while speaking at his official declaration to contest the governorship race had quoted his predecessor as saying that ‘Lucky will succeed me’

“He was deliberate and prophetic. He said it during our inauguration and repeatedly that ‘Lucky will succeed me. Lucky will carry on the work after me’. At not one, not two nor three sessions of the cabinet meetings had he pronounced Lucky as his desired choice to carry the flag after him.”

“He was a man of vision. We will not let him down. We will not waiver. We will not falter. We will succeed. Support me to carry on the work. Work with me to bring the desired goal”, the governor had said.

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