Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, at the weekend berated his principal, Mr. Oluwatotimi Akeredolu, over his comment that he regretted making him (Ajayi) his deputy in 2016, saying the governor’s comment was borne out of frustration over his inability to remove him from office.
The governor, during his campaign tour of Eseodo Local Government Area of the state on Saturday had described the choice of Ajayi as his deputy in 2016 as an error.
However, Ajayi in a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Babatope Okeowo, said he was never a burden on Akeredolu before, during and after the election that produced the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government in the state.
The deputy governor said his contributions to the contest and eventual victory were immense and tangible.
He said: “We understand the frustration of Governor Akeredolu over his inability to remove his deputy illegally through the instrumentality of the House of Assembly.
“These and many injuries Governor Akeredolu caused himself cannot be blamed on his deputy who he was sidelined for the past three-and-a-half years.
“It must be put on record that Akeredolu contested in 2012 governorship election and came a distant third in the election won by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Labour Party.
“It was the experience, weight, and political capital, Hon. Ajayi brought into 2016 gubernatorial election that produced the current All Progressives Congress (APC)- led government in the state.”
The plot to remove Ajayi from office by the state House of Assembly suffered asetback following the refusal of the state Chief Judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, to set up a seven-man panel to investigate allegations of impeachable offences levelled against Ajayi.
The chief judge, in a reply to a letter from the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, had cited some constitutional errors in the lawmakers’ process to remove the deputy governor.
However, the state legislature had said there was no going back on the mission to remove Ajayi as the House would return to the drawing board to perfect theremoval plot.