Abuja, NIGERIA — After several political crises over his continuous absence, Oyo State Governor Rotimi Akereodolu has finally handed over power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The latest development is coming after Akeredolu’s three-month absence from the state, since returning to Nigeria in September, which generated several reactions.
For over three months, Ondo State has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, following the political crises generated by the absence of Governor Rotimi Akereodolu, since returning from medical vacation.
He has since been at his private residence in Ibadan, Oyo State.
His ill-health and continuous absence had ignited rivalry within his political family, and permutations heightened over his likely successor.
In the midst of all these, the allegation of forgery of Governor Akeredolu’s signature on an official document also came up. However, the intervention of President Bola Tinubu on Monday night, the second in two weeks, seemed to have yielded a temporary solution.
On Tuesday, Governor Akereodolu wrote to the state assembly, on his intention to proceed on another medical leave, paving the way for embattled Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who has been faced with allegations of disloyalty, to assume responsibility as acting governor.
According to available records from the office of the Chief Press Secretary To The Governor, Akereodolu had gone on medical vacation five times in the last two years, the first being on April 1, 2021.
It remains to be seen if the latest development will bring an end to the political intrigues within the ruling APC, even as the state prepares for the 2024 governorship election.
Akeredolu in a statement by his chief press secretary, Richard Olatunde, on Tuesday, December 12, said he would return to the Europe as a follow-up to his medical treatment.
Announcing Akeredolu’s fresh medical leave in a statement, the chief of staff said the Governor would prioritise his health and ensure a full recovery before resuming his official duties.
“A formal letter regarding the medical leave and a notice formally transferring power in line with the Nigerian Constitution will be transmitted to the House of Assembly.
“In the absence of Governor Akeredolu, the Deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, will assume the responsibilities of the Governor in an acting capacity.
“Governor Akeredolu expresses his gratitude for the unwavering support and affection of the people of Ondo State. He assures them that his administration remained committed to the path of progress and prosperity for the people.”
The statement also noted that Akeredolu, being a Senior Advocate, had consistently delegated power to his deputy during his annual vacations, adding that the “practice was observed on April 1, 2021, April 1, 2022, April 3, 2023, and July 10, 2023, when he embarked on previous vacations.”
However, this latest request for medical leave by Akeredolu has generated controversies among Nigerians on social media, with some calling the Governor to resign and hand over power to his deputy