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Akeredolu didn’t anoint Aiyedatiwa as successor, says late gov’s ex-spokesperson

Richard Olatunde, former Chief Press Secretary to the late Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said that the late governor never wished the current governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to succeed him.

Olatunde made his position known in a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday.

He was reacting to Aiyedatiwa’s claim that the late governor desired that he succeed him as governor.

In February, Aiyedatiwa claimed that he was part of the legacies of his predecessor, adding that the latter had wished him (Aiyedatiwa) to succeed him as the governor.

He added that seeing him become the next governor of the state would have been a proud moment for the deceased leader if he was alive.

But in his reaction on Tuesday, Olatunde stated that contrary to Aiyedatiwa’s claim, the late governor never wished to be succeeded by him.

He warned Aiyedatiwa to stop exploiting the deceased governor’s name for political gain.

He said, “This narrative regarding the alleged wish of our late leader and father figure, late Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for Governor Aiyedatiwa to succeed him has gone too far to be disregarded.

“This narrative began even before our leader was laid to rest. Out of respect and utmost reverence for our late governor, we chose not to engage with those spreading this narrative.

“While we acknowledge that the political atmosphere in the state is intensifying, we want to unequivocally state that the late governor did not anoint or express a desire for Aiyedatiwa to succeed him. On the contrary, the relationship between the late governor and Governor Aiyedatiwa became strained and distant until his passing.

“Despite attending to official matters and meeting people from Akure, the late governor intentionally kept Mr. Aiyedatiwa, who was the deputy governor at the time, away from him in Ibadan.

“Our late governor was deeply disappointed and regretful of certain behaviours and character traits displayed by Mr. Aiyedatiwa during his health challenges, which ultimately led to his passing.

“We have also observed the circulation of a video recorded during the swearing-in ceremony of the late governor and Mr. Aiyedatiwa as governor and deputy governor, respectively. Undoubtedly, our late governor had high hopes for Mr. Aiyedatiwa. The late Akeredolu never concealed his intentions.

“One thing that discerning minds can clearly see is the turn of events in the latter half of last year. Trust was betrayed. Confidence was shattered. And the true colours of desperation overshadowed the good intentions of our late governor. What followed was a tale of disappointment and betrayal. Our late leader, to say the least, was heartbroken before his demise.

“We, therefore, caution Mr. Aiyedatiwa to cease these deceptive tactics and focus on his campaign. Akeredolu’s ardent followers, including members of his family, do not support Mr. Aiyedatiwa’s aspiration to clinch the ticket of the party.”

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