The embattled deputy governor of Ondo State, Hon Agboola Ajayi, at the weekend gave Governor Rotimi Akeredolu 21 days to transmit power to him as acting governor.
Akeredolu and his estranged deputy had been at loggerheads over the propriety or otherwise of transmitting power to Ajayi while incapacitated.
Recall that the governor through his information and Orientation Commissioner Donald Ojogo had on Friday foreclosed the consideration of handing over governance to Ajayi.
Ojogo said: “aside from the loss of trust and alleged treachery on the part of the Deputy Governor, governance was not grounded as Akeredolu remained active in the line of duty.
But, the Media Adviser to the deputy Governor, Allen Sowore in a reply to the governor insisted that he remained partially incapacitated and had no choice than to hand over the reins of governance to him.
Ajayi, therefore, gave the governor a 21-day ultimatum to effect the process.
Sowore took a swipe at Akeredolu for not living up to his exalted legal profession as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the Ajayi Babatope Okeowo had on Friday said that he (Ajayi) was not prepared to step in for Governor Akeredolu since he was not incapacitated.
Sowore statement which was u-turn came less than ten hours after.
He said in his statement yesterday that “Ordinarily, one expects Mr Governor to bring to bear on governance his background as a lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“But it is rather surprising and worrisome that the Governor has chosen the part of perversion of justice, by allowing his close aides to go astray in a matter of constitutionality.
“Section 190 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is apposite in the prevailing constitutional aberration in Ondo State. On our part, we will continue to pray fervently for Mr Governor’s quickest recovery.
“However, it should be noted, that Akeredolu is at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational.
“Ostensibly, the refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy, while he is temporarily incapacitated in self-isolation, underscore his absolute disregard for our nation’s supreme document, 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the tenets of rule of law.
“Akeredolu’s position is a spite on the Ondo State people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.
Governor Akeredolu’s deliberate mounting of obstacles to smooth running of government machinery while he’s in self-isolation as a result of the fact that he has been tested positive for the COVID-19 privileges the hypocritical nature of Ondo State government’s war against the ravaging pandemic
Sowore noted that “The Deputy Governor has a track record of performance in the various offices he has held – first as supervisory Councillor, LG Chairman, Member of the National Assembly – where he served as the chairman of the House Committee on NDDC and even now as the Deputy Governor.