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Aiyedatiwa’s endorsement tears Ondo Assembly apart

Members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, passed a vote of no confidence in the Speaker of the House, Olamide Oladiji, for pledging the support of the Assembly for Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa’s electoral bid.

In a statement on Wednesday, 13 lawmakers, including the House Majority Leader, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, disowned the Speaker, saying he spoke for himself and not for the Assembly.

reports that Aiyedatiwa on Tuesday formally declared his intention to contest the November 12 Ondo State governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

At the well-attended declaration ceremony in Akure, the Speaker of the Assembly, when given an opportunity to speak, said the entire Assembly was behind the governor to win the upcoming election.

Oladiji said, “We have about 18 members of the Ondo State House of Assembly here with Governor Aiyedatiwa. The Ondo House is for Aiyedatiwa, even those who are not APC, they are in the same struggle with us. My advice to our leaders across the 18 local governments is, go back to your local governments and do the needful. Let the reconciliation continue;  come April 24 ( primary), we will deliver for Honourable Aiyedatiwa. On behalf of the honorable members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr Governor, congratulations in advance.”

However, disowning the endorsement on Wednesday, 13 lawmakers issued a statement saying they were not consulted.

The lawmakers, who signed the statement were, the Majority Leader, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi; Parliamentary Secretary, Moyinolorun Ogunwumij; Chief Whip,  Oluwarotimi Fasonu; Minority Leader, Olajide Oguntodu; and the Deputy Minority Leader, Raymond Daodu.

Others were Akinsuroju Nelson, Akomolafe Temitope , Ifabiyi Olatunji,  Agbulu Akeem,  Christopher Ayebusiwa, Atinuke Witherspoon, Biola Oladapo and Afe Felix.

In the statement, they said, “At no point did the Ondo State House of Assembly deliberate the governorship ambition of any of the numerous aspirants that have indicated their interests to contest for the state’s 2024 governorship election, let alone agree to support any particular aspirant.

“Mr. Speaker lacks the moral and legal authorities to speak or pledge support for any governorship aspirant on behalf of the House without the explicit consent of members. Mr. Speaker has, by his unconventional and false public declaration, misrepresented the honourable House, and in so doing, brought the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly into disrepute, needless controversies and breaching our confidence in his leadership.

“Consequently, we hereby pass a vote of no-confidence in the leadership of the Speaker, Rt Hon Olamide Oladiji.”

The Assembly had spiritedly battled Aiyedatiwa last year, plotting to impeach him over alleged misconduct as the deputy governor/acting governor of the state.

The tension became doused in December when Aiyedatiwa became the state governor following the demise of his principal, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Reacting to the Assembly division on Wednesday,  Lucky Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation Foot Soldiers appealed for peace.

The organisation’s Director of Media and Publicity, Kayode Fasua, described the governor as a man of peace.

He said, “Mr Governor is a man of peace. He always wants peace in the state. We are appealing to the state Assembly to be peaceful and work on the way to move the state forward. Our Assembly members have been working in harmony, there should be no crisis of any sort, so we calling on them to be peaceful.”

At the APC governorship primary scheduled for April 24, Aiyedatiwa will be slugging it out with other aspirants, such as a former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa; a former member of the House of Representatives, Mayowa Akinfolarin; a former Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Oladunni Odu; and a former Special Adviser to Governor Akeredolu on Health, Prof Francis Faduyile.

Others include a former governorship aspirant of the APC, Chief Olusola Oke; a former Chairman of the Ondo State Oil-producing Areas Development Commission, Mr Gbenga Edema; Senator Jimoh Ibrahim; Dr Paul Akintelure and  Brig. Gen. Olamide Ohunyeye (retd.).

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