Ondo First Lady, Son Go Against Ailing Gov Akeredolu’s Wishes To Move Him To Hometown In Ondo

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According to sources, they are afraid that such a scenario will limit their grip on power as the defacto leaders of the state.

The first lady of Ondo State, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and her son, Babajide have kept Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, against his wishes, SaharaReporters learnt on Monday.

It was earlier on Monday reported that the ailing governor had been receiving chemotherapy for the treatment of leukaemia (blood cancer).

Sources said that the medication knocks the governor out for 10 hours each time and that he is barely lucid during the day or at night.

It was further learnt that at a time when the governor was lucid enough, he requested his family to take him to Owo, his hometown in Ondo State, saying he preferred to die there. However, sources said his family, led by Betty and Babajide shunned the helpless governor’s request over fear that his true state of health would come to light.

According to sources, they are afraid that such a scenario will limit their grip on power as the defacto leaders of the state.

“When the governor was lucid enough, he requested that his family return him to his Owo home and said he’d prefer to die there but his family, led by his son and wife refused to transfer him fearing his real condition would be leaked by untrustworthy family members and aides.

“The governor was recently in Lagos where he received some treatment before being taken to Ibadan in Oyo State,” one of the family sources said.

It was exclusively reported in January that Akeredolu was suffering from leukaemia.

Leukaemia is a blood cancer caused by a rise in the number of white blood cells in the body.

The 67-year-old politician returned to Nigeria in September after a three-month medical leave in Germany but has been holed up in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Akeredolu has been under intense pressure from opposition parties to resign or hand over power to his deputy in line with the 1999 constitution but he has failed to resign.

Meanwhile, the family has been keeping the governor’s health status hush-hush to maintain their grip on the affairs of the state.

In November 2021, Akeredolu appointed his son, Babajide as the Director General of the Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit, Office of the Governor of Ondo State (PPIMU), courting controversy.

Sources in Akeredolu’s family told revealed that the governor’s return to Nigeria from Germany in September was with a poor prognosis.

“The governor is battling leukaemia for which he is being treated with chemotherapy,” one of the sources had told SaharaReporters.

“The governor who returned from Germany after a prolonged stay was told his prognosis is bad and was asked to return to Nigeria where he has continued to receive chemotherapy.”

According to one of the sources, “each time the governor receives a shot of his chemical therapy, he is knocked out for at least 10 hours”.

“As a result, the governor is barely lucid throughout the day and night,” the source had added.

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses powerful drugs or chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body.

Chemotherapy could, however, come with side effects that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hair loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, fever and mouth sores.

Patients could also have the following side effects: pain and constipation, easy bruising and bleeding.

Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), won his re-election as the state governor in October 2020 and was sworn in for a second term in office in February 2021.

It was exclusively reported on Sunday evening that President Bola Tinubu had summoned the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa and the State House of Assembly Speaker, Olamide Oladiji to Aso Villa in Abuja for an urgent meeting to be held today (Monday).

Sources told SaharaReporters that Tinubu would ask that the deputy governor should be allowed to act as governor, to resolve the leadership crisis in the state.

However, it was learnt that the arrangement would not prevent a constitutional crisis as it would not require the ailing Governor Akeredolu to resign, even though he is ill and has been unable to perform the responsibilities required of his office for many months.

The call for the urgent meeting scheduled to be held on Monday comes after human rights activist and #RevolutionNow convener, Omoyele Sowore, announced the scheduling of a town hall meeting and mass protests for Saturday in Akure to call on the ailing Governor Akeredolu to either return to office or resign.

The emergency meeting will be the second one summoned by the President to resolve the leadership crisis in the state following the governor’s absence from office since July 2023.

The call for the meeting comes about two weeks after Tinubu met with over 50 persons including Aiyedatiwa, his and aides of Governor Akeredolu, state commissioners, party chieftains and some elders of the state on November 24.

“Tinubu has summoned the Ondo State Deputy Governor and the House Speaker to another urgent meeting after Sowore announced mass protests and town hall meeting in Akure,” one of the top sources privy to the invitation told SaharaReporters on Sunday.

“The emergency meeting is to be held in Aso Rock on Monday. It is aimed by Tinubu to ask the deputy governor to be allowed to act as governor.”

Last Friday, it was reported that a forensic report by the Association of Forensic Professionals of Nigeria (AFPON) had confirmed that Akeredolu’s signature was forged on an official document.

In a forensic report signed by Mr Nuhu Kutana Tanko, who stated that “there are strong indications the author of known specimen handwritings/signatures on known documents marked ‘K-K4’ did not write the questioned signatures on questioned documents marked ‘Q-Q2.’”

The investigation was initiated by the State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Razaq Obe, who wrote to the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, confirming the forgery of Akeredolu’s signature on an official document relating to his ministry.

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