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Rumble in Assembly Over Deputy Governor

Ondo State Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has alleged that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu wanted to impeach him.
He alleged that the illegal impeachment would be carried out through inducement of members of the House of Assembly.

Ajayi resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he hoped to contest the governorship election.

Ajayi, who insisted on not resigning his position as the deputy governor, said Governor Akeredolu planned to impeach him through illegal and unconstitutional means.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo, Ajayi alleged that the assembly complex had been besieged by the police, while lawmakers that did not comply were prevented from entering the complex.

According to a statement, “we wish to state that the deputy governor is a tested politician of note, who is not unprepared for this type of kangaroo and infamous move from the desperate and drowning Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and his group.

“By joining the PDP, Ajayi has not committed any impeachable offence. He has only exercised his constitutional right of freedom of association. Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides as follows:

“Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any association for the protection of his interests.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we state unequivocally that the governor and his allies do not have and cannot muster the requisite majority in the House of Assembly for the removal of the deputy governor under the 1999 Constitution  in any free, fair and transparent process.

“We remain undaunted in the move to throw off the combined weight of those kneeling on the neck of Ondo State. Our state shall not be allowed to suffocate. At the appropriate time, the people of Ondo State shall decide the right person, who will serve as the arrowhead of the bid to save the state from the nepotistic clique kneeling on her neck.”
The deputy governor has directed his sacked aides to resume duties in private capacity as his personal aides.
He advised them to return the government belongings in their possession to the appropriate quarters within 24 hours.

Information and Orientation Commissioner Donald Ojogo described Ajayi’s allegation as the height of perfidy and another pernicious warp from an intellectually challenged and treacherous personality.

He said: “Knowledge cannot be procured, but only be acquired. For anyone to aver that lawmakers have been financially induced is a gross display of emptiness.

“It becomes more laughable when such comes from someone who had boasted about having majority members in the assembly. Clearly, while the executive led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, does not believe in inducement, it is left for our reputable legislative arm to either confirm or debunk this spurious allegation.”

Ondo State Government had earlier sacked seven aides deployed in the office of Deputy Governor Ajayi.
The sacking is not unconnected to the defection of Ajayi to the PDP.

Ajayi, however, insisted that he would not resign.

Those sacked were Mr. Olomu Bayo, special assistant, special duties; Mr. Olawale Abolade Mukaila, special assistant, photography; Mr. Babatope Okeowo, deputy chief press secretary; Mr. Samuel Sam Ogunmusi, personal assistant (deputy governor); Mr. Tokunbo Omotunmis, special assistant to the wife of the deputy governor; Mrs. Erifeyiwa Shola Akinnugba, (photography, wife of the deputy governor); and Mr. Allen Sowore, special assistant on new media.

A statement by Chief Press Secretary to Governor Akeredolu Mr. Segun Ajiboye said the aides were advised to submit government’s belongings in their possession to the Chief of Staff to the Governor.

The statement said Governor Akeredolu wished them good luck in their future endeavours.

The neglect of the Office of the Deputy Governor has been given as the reason for the defection of Ajayi to the PDP.

Ajayi’s Chief Press Secretary Mr. Babatope Okeowo made this known yesterday in a programme on a private radio station, RAVE FM, in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, tagged ‘Frank Talk’.

He alleged that his principal’s office was marginalised by the Governor Akeredolu administration and this made him to defect to the PDP.

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