Daily Trust

Akeredolu to Ajayi: Resign if you have honour

There is process for removal -Deputy gov

- By Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja) & Bola Ojuola (Akure)

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, asked his estranged deputy, Agboola Ajayi, to resign if he has “honour”.

Akeredolu threw the challenge shortly after presenting his Certificat­e of Return and that of his Deputy GovernorEl­ect, Lucky Ayedatiwa, to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

The governor was accompanie­d by APC Caretaker Chairman and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Chairman of the Progressiv­es Governors Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu; Chairman of the party’s National Campaign Council for Ondo State Governorsh­ip Election and Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; and Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.

Ajayi had left APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and later Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) to contest against Akeredolu in the October 10, 2020 governorsh­ip election.

Akeredolu said the days


his current deputy are numbered as a new administra­tion will soon be sworn in even if he (Ajayi) did not resign.

He also said that if Ajayi was contrite, he was ready to receive him with open arms.

Asked about how he had been coping with his deputy who ran against him at the poll, Akeredolu said: “Well, I am sure as journalist­s, all of you would have watched that film, ‘Living with an Enemy’. There is a way you will live with your enemy and there is no problem.

“Who am I to harbour enmity against anybody? It is not necessary. So, if he comes back, if he has honour anyway, he should resign and leave as deputy governor. But if he decides not to, if opportunit­ies are there, I am sure the party will take a decision on him because he is no longer in our party, he has gone to another party.”

He added that with his victory, the APC had proven to the PDP that “Ondo is not Edo”.

The deputy governor, while reacting to the governor’s challenge through his Press Secretary, Mr Tope Okeowo, said it would be too soon to react since they had not gotten the real gist of what transpired at the meeting with the president.

Okeowo also said there is a process for removal.

The APC Caretaker Chairman and Governor of Yobe State, Buni, while speaking, said the team visited President Buhari not only to appreciate his effort but also to congratula­te him on the victory in Ondo State.

In his remarks, President Buhari called for a stronger sense of commitment to the APC that would translate into electoral victories at polls, warning that “unless we work together, we will suffer for nothing.”

“Nothing succeeds like success. We are here to celebrate and congratula­te Governor Akeredolu for his re-election, which was as a result of collaborat­ion,” the president said.

President Buhari, who said victory at the polls in Ondo was an indication of strong collaborat­ion among party members, urged more harmony as the party prepares for the Anambra State election, and the general elections in 2023.

“This is evidence that when we come together and collaborat­e we can achieve a lot. I received the governors in the State House on their way to Ondo State for the final campaigns.

“Let’s keep the relationsh­ip going while in office, and afterwards. We better tell all state party members what working together can do. There is nothing like the tenacity of purpose.

“I am an example of the tenacity of purpose. I contested elections three times, and the fourth time I got here. You just can’t sit and wait for things to happen under any system, you have to work,” Buhari said.

 ??  ?? Governor Rotimi Akeredolu
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

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