The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, says he would not hand over to his Deputy, Agboola Ajayi, despite contracting COVID-19.
He described his second-in-command as a threat to good governance in the state.
Akeredolu and Ajayi’s relationship has become frosty, causing the deputy governor to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently.
The governor, who contracted the virus on Wednesday and has gone on isolation, said he would be working from home.
He denied that government business has suffered because of his condition, urging residents of the state to remain calm.
Speaking through the Information and Orientation Commissioner, Donald Ojogo, he said, “Mr. Governor will not be advised to hand over to his deputy, it is not done because there is no reason for that.
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“The deputy governor has since left our party and has since left governance, even though he has not left government.
“You cannot hand over government to someone who has left governance, or handover the rein of government to someone who attempted to pull down the government.
“ln any case, those of us in government and belief strongly in this government see the deputy governor as the greatest threat to good governance in Ondo state and you can’t attempt to handover to people like that. Agboola Ajayi is the greatest threat to this government.
“I don’t know-how and we got into this, what we witnessed in 1983, the level of treachery that was deployed against late Adekunle Ajasin.
“Except for those who have the opportunity to witness what we are seeing in Ondo state, one may be tempted to say that was the height or nothing could surpass the level of treachery but what we are seeing today represents the fact what Omoboriowo did in 1983 was a child play compare to what Agboola Ajayi is doing now.
“You don’t rock a boat that has taken you across the ocean, so it is a non-issue and we are not even considering handing over to Agboola Ajayi and I know as a matter of fact that no one who believes in good governance in the state will even advise Akeredolu to hand over to his deputy. What would be the compelling reason when governance is not grounded.
“He has created an unusual scenario upon which he wanted to climb to his next political ladder and we have already seen as misadventures, we cannot toy with what we have built over the years, we cannot risk it and attempt to hand over to someone who has exhibited a mindless level of betrayal and an unquestionable level of treachery.
“This is not done and unthinkable, undebatable and if that is the reason he has been sponsoring write-ups to say there is likely to be a vacuum, the governor must hand over to him, he’s only joking.
“It is not going to happen because the governor is hale and hearty. COVID -19 is not a death sentence and the governor is strong enough to work.
“For the deputy to insinuate, incite or instigate people to be stirring the water to say that the government should hand over to him, confirms our fears in the last ten months that Agboola Ajayi has been striving to take over power through the backdoor and God will not allow him.”
Reacting through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Babatope Okeowo, the deputy governor said he did not expect his principal to hand over to him given his (Akeredolu’s) antecedents.
“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 have 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 camps, 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 the 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 the 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 the doctrine of necessity and we are not bothered with that.”