The Lucky Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation Foot Soldiers has refuted a claim that Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa was introduced to the government by the wife of the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Betty.
The group described the claim as ridiculous, saying it was the late governor himself who picked Aiyedatiwa as his deputy for the second term.
The Aiyedatiwa support group stated this in a statement on Sunday by its Director of Information, Mr Kayode Fasua.
According to the group, the late Akeredolu had always wanted Aiyedatiwa to be his deputy because of the latter’s loyalty and diligence.
The Aiyedatiwa support group described as “not only ridiculous but also hallucinatory,” the claim that Akeredolu’s wife brought Aiyedatiwa to government.
It will be recalled that following Akeredolu’s death, his ex-Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategies, Dr Doyin Odebowale, had alleged that many of the cabinet members paid Betty, and Akeredolu’s son, Babajide, to secure appointment in government.
But in its statement on Sunday, the Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation said, “ Betty didn’t bring Aiyedatiwa into the government.
“To put the record straight, when Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu secured the All Progressives Congress governorship ticket in 2016, a three-man panel headed by Mrs Jumoke Anifowoshe-Ajasin was set up to select a running mate for him, and at the end, Aiyedatiwa’s name came first on the merit list.
“But for other considerations, Akeredolu dumped the list and picked Mr. Agboola Ajayi, who eventually became deputy governor upon their victory.
“However, in 2020 when Akeredolu had issues with Ajayi, he solemnly went and picked the 2016 list which Aiyedatiwa topped, and that was how Aiyedatiwa became his running mate, and ultimately, deputy governor.”
The Aiyedatiwa support group also dismissed a claim that the late Akeredolu anointed one of his commissioners to succeed him as governor.
It was apparently reacting to a former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, who said the late Akeredolu anointed him as successor.
The group Aiyedatiwa support group said, “It is public knowledge in Ondo State that everywhere Akeredolu went to in company with Aiyedatiwa, he was always raising up Aiyedatiwa’s hand as the man to take over as governor once he finished his second term.
“Even commissioners and others who were in Akeredolu’s cabinet can testify to the fact that the late former governor was always full of praises for Aiyedatiwa, his deputy, during which he would utter that ‘this is the next governor of Ondo State’,” the group said.
As the battle to get the ticket of the APC in the forthcoming primary in April, ahead of the November governorship election, is still ongoing among the aspirants of the party.
It was gathered that the aspirants had begun a house-to-house campaign across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Aiyedatiwa is one of the aspirants to contest the ticket of the APC in the primary.
Other aspirants include Senator Jimoh Ibrahim; a former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa; a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin; a former Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Oladunni Odu; a former governorship aspirant of the APC, Chief Olusola Oke; Dr Paul Akintelure, Brig. Gen. Olamide Ohunyeye (retd.); and a former Chairman of the Ondo State Oil-producing Areas Commission, Mr Gbenga Edema.