Ondo State Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa,Thursday to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu over the recent negative reports portraying the state in a bad light as a result of political crisis created by some ambitious individuals in the state.
He tendered the apology during a press conference in his office at Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital.
Aiyedatiwa exonerated himself from all the allegations of disloyalty bandied about by some political gladiators in the state.
He said he has not had the opportunity of defending himself before the governor since he returned from his medical leave.
He revealed that the crisis has not granted him the chance to give account, before the governor, of his stewardship on the three months he acted as the governor of the state when the governor was away on medical leave.
He expressed his displeasure at the embarrassment caused the governor and the state by the barrage of negative reports emerging from the state which have brought the state to global view in last couple of weeks.
He blamed the development on some ambitious individuals who are desperate to succeed Governor Akeredolu in office.
Lauding the governor for his role in the intervention of the national leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC), Aiyedatiwa disclosed that the governor was instrumental to the members of state House of Assembly who attended the reconciliatory meeting in Abuja a couple of weeks ago.
He, however, dissociated himself from any group calling for the impeachment of Governor Akeredolu, saying he had no relationship with or authorised any person or group of persons making such unholy call.
He said: “Let me begin by thanking my principal, Mr. Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN, CON, who provided me with this platform to serve as the deputy governor of Ondo State. I must say it has been a worthwhile experience for me working with him for the benefit of the good people of our dear State.
“However, I am deeply saddened by the embarrassment and discomfort that Mr. Governor has faced due to the barrage of negative news in the State as a result of the events of the last few months. I tender my sincere apology to Mr. Governor on this as our Leader in the State.
“Our beloved State has witnessed a series of events triggered by the health challenges faced by Mr. Governor which gave rise to a lot of assumptions, falsehoods, insinuations, misunderstandings, misconceptions, and exploitation by political contenders preparing for the upcoming 2024 gubernatorial election in the state.
“We have continued to read in the media, all sorts of lies fabricated to create crisis just for the purpose of election. The recent impeachment attempt by the House of Assembly and the ensuing reactions have further created division and chaos, with my loyalty to Mr. Governor being questioned.
“It is, therefore, imperative for me to put on record that there has never been any issue between Mr. Governor and myself and I have never undermined him. Political actors have only taken advantage of his absence to create a non-existent crisis for their own selfish interests.
“Let me say it here that I am profoundly grateful to Mr. Governor for his intervention and role in persuading the distinguished members of Ondo State House of Assembly to embrace the political solution offered by our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the face of the impeachment move.
“It is in reference to all of the above that I tender my unreserved apologies to Mr. Governor for the embarrassment and discomfort that the political chaos of these past months has caused him and the good people of Ondo State.
“I remain fully committed to the principles of good governance that Mr. Governor has established, and I pledge my unwavering loyalty to him and I will continue to submit myself under his able, courageous and selfless leadership.
“I completely distance myself from any group or individuals holding protests or calling on the Governor to resign. I have never commissioned any individual or group to engage in such protest or campaign.
“I wish to thank the national leadership of our great party, APC, for the intervention on the impeachment move against me while I also pledge my commitment to the reconciliation efforts aimed at restoring peace in the state.
“I have a lot of respect for the Speaker, members of the House of Assembly and members of the State Executive Council, and I do not hold any grudge. We must all work together for the smooth running of government.
“I want to appeal to all political actors in the State to put an end to this needless crisis and allow peace so that we can all concentrate on the development of our dear State.”
Answering questions from journalists, the deputy governor disclosed that “I had met Mr. Governor on two occasions since he returned back to the country, the first day was when we welcome him back at Ibadan, when he actually resumed the work with the letter given to the State House of Assembly and in such occasion you cannot discuss much.
He added:The second time was when he invited me to the Ibadan on a Sunday of the same particular week on a particular matter and because there was no time, waiting for him to return to Akure, back to office so that I can present my three months stewardship as acting Governor but you all know that he has not been in Akure since then. I have not seen the opportunity really to sit down with him, on to give him details briefing what transpired.
“I thank Mr Governor for allowing the State House of Assembly to embrace the political solution offered by the National body of our great party, APC. You recalled that the members of the state assembly were invited to Abuja by the National Secretariat and they consulted with the Mr. Governor and he gave them the permission for me to attend that meeting and whatever is the decision of the national leaders they should also bind and that should that Mr. Governor is a democrat, that allows for discussion.
“So, that is what we have been able to have the peace we are enjoying right now. The truth is that Mr. Governor allowed them to embraced that.
“The lession that I learnt, was that as a human being, you will continue to learn everyday, I have learnt about humans dynamics, people can take you out of context, misconception and all of that. But what matter is that you should remains stable, and be consistent, remain loyal in respective of whatever they said the truth will always prevail at the end of the day.
“So I have learnt that loyalty pays, being honest and stable pays. So let me say it again that I tender unreserved apology to Mr. Governor because of the embarrassment and discomfort that he faced because of the negative news concerned the state. Because the event has actually brought the state to the attention of the whole world.
“Considering all of that, he deserves all the apology, while I’m also in the centre of the news and as a number one citizens of the state, a leader of the state, Governor Akeredolu deserves the apology.”