How Akeredolu always wished I succeed him as Ondo Governor – Aiyedatiwa

…..As he meets media Professionals.

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State has said former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu wanted him to succeed him as governor of the State after the expiration of the present political dispensation in 2025.

Aiyedatiwa said those present at their inauguration and members of the dissolved executive members can testify to the fact that Akeredolu always said he would start where the former governor stopped.

Addressing media professionals in the state on Thursday, Aiyedatiwa said it was the wish of Akeredolu that he should succeed him after his tenure ends in February 2025 contrary to insinuations in many quarters.

Akeredolu had picked Aiyedatiwa as his running mate ahead of the October 2020 governorship election after he had fallen out with Hon Agboola Ajayi, who ran with him in a joint ticket in 2016.

In his inauguration speech as second-term Governor and Aiyedatiwa as Deputy on February 24, 2021, the late Governor said on February 24, 2021 “You have been loyal, you have been consistent. You are worthy of this position.

“You are worthy to complete this journey with us. I have maximum followers, maybe you can proceed from there. It is for me to come down and for you to grow. I must come down for him to grow. I have done my little bit,” Akeredolu said in a viral video.

A former Commissioner for Finance and one of the governorship aspirants under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Wale Akinterinwa said the late Governor Akeredolu discussed with him to become the next governor of the state.

Akinterinwa said during an interview on national television said the late governor told him to gear up to succeed him when he returned to the country after his trip to Germany.

His words “Late governor Akeredolu had a discussion with me in his office and he told me he would want me to take over from him. I didn’t take particular notice of the date he had discussed with me but it happened immediately after he came back from his trip to Germany. He prayed for me and I am aware he told certain people about his desire.”

But speaking at a media parley on thursday, Aiyedatiwa said it was during their inauguration that the late governor first mentioned that he would succeed him as the governor.

Aiyedatiwa said the late governor usually said during the Executive Council meetings that I would succeed him and that whatever approvals he could not implement would be implemented by him.

The Governor said he was very close to the former governor contrary to what some sections of the media wanted to portray to the public.

Aiyedatiwa said he would have wanted to see the late governor sit back and see how he would continue with the good policies he had initiated, he said death took him away and made him assume office as governor earlier than planned.

He appreciated the media for ensuring that Ondo State remains peaceful during the trying period when Akeredolu was sick and he was facing unfounded impeachment allegations.

The media parley was organized by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan to introduce core media professionals to Gov. Aiyedatiwa, while the Ondo state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led members to the parley.

The media meeting was attended by the state Deputy Governor, Dr Olayide Adelami; the SSG, Hon. Tayo Oluwatuyi Tukanna; NUJ state and chapel leadership; media executives; independent presenters; and online media practitioners as well as social media influences.

Culled: New Telegraph

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