By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Editor and Otabor Osagie
9 chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are lobbying to switch Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi, who’s dealing with impeachment prices earlier than the Home of Meeting.
The gladiators, who’re core members of “Crew Aketi”, the political construction of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, are from the Ondo Senatorial District.
These eyeing the quantity two place are: the chairman of the Common Fundamental Schooling Board and former Schooling Commissioner Mrs. Oladunni Odu; Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Improvement Fee (OSOPADEC) Gbenga Edema; former member of the Niger Delta Improvement Fee (NDDC) board and senatorial aspirant Fortunate Ayedatiwa; Commissioner for Schooling and youthful brother of former Governor Segun Agagu, Femi Agagu; Deputy Chief of Workers Jimi Kuforiji; Mrs. Olamide Falana and Commissioner for Water Assets Yetunde Adeyanju.
A supply mentioned Ayedatiwa, Agagu and Odu are the sturdy contenders, though some social gathering chieftains are additionally rooting for Finance Commissioner Wale Akinterinwa.
In keeping with the supply, the jostling might have altered the permutations for the choice of operating mate for Akeredolu, who’s searching for a second time period.
Initially, some social gathering leaders have prompt Dr. Paul Akinterinwa, his 2012 operating mate for the job.
Get together insiders additionally confided that some governorship aspirants from the South are additionally eyeing the operating mate slot, following the adoption of the oblique mode of main, which the governor is most probably to win.
They’re mentioned to be mounting pressures on credible social gathering leaders who’ve the ears of Akeredolu to think about them for the slot.
The foyer for the deputy governor has intensified, following the graduation of impeachment proceedings towards Ajayi by the Home of Meeting.
Additionally, a serious disaster has engulfed the Meeting, following the suspension of three lawmakers who’re sympathetic to the embattled deputy governor.
The Chief Decide could also be mandated to represent a seven-man panel to research the allegations towards Ajayi, the supply mentioned.
Ajayi, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Get together (PDP) three weeks in the past, was served with an impeachment discover by 14 lawmakers three days in the past over alleged monetary recklessness, misconduct and incitement to violence.
Yesterday, the Clerk of the Home of Meeting, Adeyelu Micheal Bode, confirmed that the deputy governor had been served with an impeachment discover.
The Clerk mentioned the discover was served on July 7, the identical day the lawmakers issued the impeachment discover, including that Ajayi had obtained the discover.
The allegations levelled towards him included gross misconduct, abuse of workplace with actions more likely to carry down the state authorities, monetary recklessness, abandonment of workplace, official responsibility and different assignments, and maligning credibility of the Home with false allegations of money inducement.
Others are his defection to the PDP regardless of being elected on the platform of the APC, incitement of the general public towards the federal government and interesting in acts more likely to trigger a breach of peace within the state.
In keeping with the discover, “Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 188(2b) of the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Honorable Home resolved that your Excellency needs to be availed with a replica of the Discover so that you can reply to the allegations comprise therein.
“By this decision, a replica of the discover of the allegations with supporting paperwork are hereby forwarded to your Excellency in your response.”
An aide to Ajayi, who pleaded anonymity, insisted that his boss has not been served with any discover.
The deputy governor had earlier instructed reporters that he would reply to the allegations after the service, stressing that the impeachment plot would fail.
Additionally yesterday, 9 lawmakers, who’re loyal to the deputy governor, dissociated themselves from the impeachment. Three of them have been suspended.
The suspended lawmakers are Deputy Speaker Iroju Ogundeji; Favour Tomemowo and Wale Williams. One other anti-impeachment lawmaker, Sulaiman Maito, resigned as Majority Chief, following feelers that the APC management was perfecting plans to kick him out.
These jostling to switch the deputy governor are oiling their foyer machineries and intensifying consultations with essential stakeholders within the social gathering.
A celebration chieftain from the North District, who craved for anonymity, mentioned: “All of the lobbyists are from the Southern district and so they have enlisted the companies of trusted allies of Governor Akeredolu.”
The supply added: “That is politics; you don’t look ahead to the bullet to fulfill you, in the event you can determine it, and that’s the reason we gained’t relaxation till the deputy governor is impeached as a result of we’ve credible proof towards him.
“There are extra certified personalities within the South who’re able to take up the battle as soon as Agboola is impeached. We can’t be dragged again by one man who has completed the social gathering within the South as a result of he was having his personal agenda.
“So, identical to Abena (former Secretary to Authorities Ifedayo Abegunde) who was changed inside 24 hours, as soon as the person goes, the subsequent deputy will probably be sworn in virtually instantly.
“The one unlucky difficulty across the situation is that, other than lobbying, the gladiators are already locked in rivalry.”
The ruling social gathering, which is silent on the race for Ajayi’s job, is sustaining a eager curiosity within the impeachment proceedings.