AKURE, Nigeria – Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has fired the media aides attached to his deputy, Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa, causing a ripple of apprehension among other members of the State Executive Council, EXCO.
The development follows the governor’s return from Germany, where he was on medical vacation.
During his absence, the State Executive Council had reportedly become divided, fueling concerns of a potential dissolution of the council upon the governor’s return.
The termination was confirmed in a statement on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, by Richard Olatunde, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, which declared that the affected aides should return all government properties to the acting Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor.
The list of sacked aides includes Kenneth Odusola, Press Secretary to the Governor; Okunniga Oladipupo, Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media; and Abayomi Samson Adefolalu, Special Assistant to the Governor on Photography.
According to insider sources, the aides were dismissed due to alleged “insubordination and flagrant disregard to appropriate authority.”
One aide reportedly criticized the governor on a WhatsApp status, screenshots of which made their way to the governor’s circle during his medical stay in Germany. Another aide was accused of disseminating stories against the governor.
Efforts to solicit a comment from Deputy Governor Ayedatiwa were unsuccessful, as he was out of the state capital for official matters.
“The Ministry of Information and Orientation is directed to provide adequate coverage for the activities of the deputy governor’s office henceforth,” the statement from Olatunde further read.
Political observers are scrutinizing the governor’s move as a potential prelude to a broader shake-up within the State Executive Council.
“The firing of the aides certainly sends a message. It appears the governor is setting the stage for more decisive actions,” said Dr. Amara Obi, a political analyst based in Akure.
While Governor Akeredolu has yet to make any public statements about the status of the EXCO, members are reportedly on edge.
“There’s a palpable sense of tension among commissioners and council members,” an EXCO source disclosed, requesting anonymity.
“Everyone is reading the body language of the governor and bracing for what comes next.”
As speculation mounts over the future of Ondo State’s political landscape, one thing is clear: Governor Akeredolu’s recent actions have added a layer of uncertainty to an already complex environment.