Ajayi: A deputy governor in the eye of the storm
Last week, the Ondo State House of Assembly was a house of commotion following a reported move by some members of the house to impeach the embattled Deputy Governor of the State, Agboola Ajayi, who due to differences between him and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu decamped to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There have been rumours and grapevines over a year ago that all is not well between the number one and two citizens of the state over issues not unrelated to the 2020 governorship election. Severally, Ajayi had publicly downplayed such rumours claiming all is well between the duo. But the smoke eventually ebbed from the led as the buildup to the governorship election intensified. Observers said the rift between the two was not far from the governorship ambition of the deputy governor knowing fully well that his principal has the intention of seeking reelection.
After weighing his options, Ajayi realised that his ambition would never escape aspiration if he remains in the All Progressives Congress (APC). He therefore moved to his former party, the PDP where he remains a hot contender for the party ticket.
But Akeredolu would not allow his deputy has a easy ride having decamped from the APC, he would want nothing to do with his deputy as far as his administration his concern. First, in June, the governor sacked all aides in the Office of the Deputy Governor.
To fan the embers of trouble for Ajayi, the State Assembly last week began impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor. But some nine members of the House carpeted the decision of the other members setting the house in a rowdy session that eventually resulted in the suspension of members opposing the impeachment.
Meanwhile the Deputy Governor had approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to halt the planned impeachment proceedings of the assembly.
The house however moved on with its proceeding and instructed the State Chief Judge, Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu to set up impeachment panel to prove the allegation of misconduct but the SCJ declined stating that the two-third majority required by the 1999 constitution for setting up such a probe panel was not formed in the House of Assembly and that the matter was subjudiced.
Ajayi seems to be having a favoured wind ahead of the governorship contest, however, his new home, the PDP, some other contenders for the party’s governorship ticket still regard him as a prodigal member whose return to the PDP was a means to an end rather than for the greater good of the party.
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