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Crisis rocks Ondo cabinet, Akeredolu fires deputy’s media aides



Barely one week after Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, returned from an overseas medical trip, crisis has started rocking the state cabinet.

Details of the crisis could not be ascertained as of press time but sources close to the matter said the issues bothered on whether the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, was loyal to his principal or not.

The matter is said to be fuelling disaffection between Akeredolu and his deputy.

However, the governor has fired the deputy’s media aides, who were accused of stocking crisis between Akeredolu and his deputy.

Consequently, all the media aides attached to the office of the Ondo State Deputy Governor were fired on Tuesday.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde, on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the affected aides include Press Secretary to the Governor, Kenneth Odusola; Special Assistant to Governor (New Media) Okunniga Oladipupo; and Special Assistant to the Governor (Photography), Abayomi Samson Adefolalu.

“They are to submit all government properties in their possession to the Acting Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor.

“Similarly, the press crew attached to the office of the deputy governor has been disbanded. Consequently, all members of the press crew are to report back to their various ministries and stations.

“Equally, the Ministry of Information and Orientation is directed to provide adequate coverage for the activities of the deputy’s governor office henceforth.”

However, The PUNCH gathered that the sacked media aides of the deputy governor were involved in some disloyal acts against the governor.

A reliable source in the government revealed that the aides were sacked as a result of insubordination and flagrant disregard for appropriate authority.

The source said, “One of the sacked aides openly abused the governor on his WhatsApp status and the screenshot is with the governor’s people.

“The deputy governor media aides are the ones causing disaffection in the government. They are the ones going about saying Aiyedatiwa will complete Akeredolu’s tenure. It’s like they wished the governor dead.

“One of them was investigated and findings have it that he had engaged in planting some stories against the governor,”

Meanwhile, Aiyedatiwa on Tuesday reiterated his loyalty to his boss and state governor, Akeredolu.

Aiyedatiwa said some reports making the rounds in recent time about his purported disloyalty to his boss, were lies and aimed at causing disaffection between him and the governor.

The deputy governor stated this on Tuesday in a statement through his media aide, Mr. Kenneth Odusola-Stevenson. The statement was titled, ‘The fabricated lies against the deputy governor of Ondo State: the blackmailers are at it again.’

According to the statement, the reports were spread by some faceless groups and individuals in the state to soil his image for political reasons.

The statement read, “We need to remind the public that this is a continuation of the blackmail started by these same characters some months ago, with false stories planted in some media outlets against the deputy governor. However, since those lies did not yield the result they envisaged, the blackmailers have returned with fake stories about disloyalty, aimed at causing disaffection between him and the governor.

“Many stakeholders have commended the deputy governor for the way he handled state affairs while he was Acting Governor, despite all his detractors did to provoke him into taking drastic actions. He avoided their booby traps and they tripped on their own banana peels.”

The statement also declared that the deputy governor was in constant touch with his principal on official state matters and there was no gap between them.

“Now that Mr. Governor is back and has started working, the deputy governor remains calm and committed to the duties of his office and unruffled by the lies of desperate politicians and their agents. The deputy governor remains loyal to his principal and no amount of fabricated lies will change that,” the statement submitted