Akeredolu, Ajayi’s political feud takes new twists in Ondo with counter accusation, condemnation
•Mixed reactions trail deaths of governor’s chief of protocol, driver •Ajayi says Akeredolu abandoned governance to celebrate in Ibadan •Ajayi, a sinking political looking for all ways to discredit out govt - Akeredolu
The last may not have been heard of political feud ongoing between re-elected Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and outgoing deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi as deputy governor’s camp has countered the Ondo state government’s claims over the untimely deaths of Governor Akeredolu’s Chief of Protocol, Tosin Ogunbodede and his driver, Leke Ajiboye, who died last week in a fatal motor accident along Ilesha-Akure highway.
Businessday observed that Ondo state government had on Sunday through the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, said, “the remains of the late Chief of Protocol, Tosin Ogunbodede will arrive Owo, his hometown today. This is necessary in order to commence preparations for his burial without further delay.
“A lawyer by profession, the late COP died in a ghastly (sic) car crash after a private visit to an uncle in Ibadan, Professor Benjamin Ogunbodede who has been ill for sometime. He died alongside his driver after the private Toyota Corolla car that conveyed them rammed into a trailer. The sad incident occurred at about 7.45 pm along Ilesha-Akure road on Saturday, January 2, 2020.
“Ogunbodede discharged his assigned duties with utmost attention and responsibility. Until his untimely death, he had been a very loyal political lieutenant of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN over the years.
“For Governor Akeredolu, this is a personal loss. It becomes more emotional when it’s recalled that the loyal and dedicated Tosin stopped by at the Governor’s Law Hub, Ibadan, to greet his Principal while returning to Akure from his uncle’s residence.”
But, in a swift reaction to the government’s statement on the deaths of Governor’s Chief of Protocol and his driver, estranged deputy of Governor Akeredolu, who contested governorship election with Ondo state governor on the platform of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and lost in the October 10th, 2020 Poll, revealed that the late Chief of Staff was coming from Ibadan where he had gone to brief Governor Akeredolu about his itinerary for the first week of the New Year, having abandoned serious government work in Ondo to celebrate New Year in the Oyo state capital.
This accusation is coming at a time when some residents and politicians have condemned the attitude of the state government for not also recognising the late driver of the late Chief of Protocol, Leke Ajiboye, who died in the same motor crash on Saturday, just as some government officials, who craved anonymity, wondered why Governor Akeredolu would commiserate and pay condolence visit to the family of his late Chief of Protocol and not doing same for the driver, Leke Ajiboye.
Ajayi, who spoke through his Media Aide, Allen Sowore in Akure, countered the government’s claims and said “Immediately after Tosin Ogunbodede, Chief of Protocol to Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN died on the 2nd January, 2021, in a fatal road accident, while returning from Ibadan, where he had gone to brief the governor on assignment and Government’s itinerary for the new year, Governor Akeredolu callously issued a statement through the Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, attributing the death of Tosin Ogunbodede to a private visit to Ibadan to see his sick uncle.
“In one paragraph, Donald Ojogo (Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation), emphasised on the word ‘PRIVATE’ twice – “a private visit to his uncle in Ibadan, Professor Benjamin Ogunbodede” and “private Toyota Corolla car”. This is needless but telling!
“Telling the whole world that a man who died in the active service of his fatherland met his untimely death on a private visit was the most irresponsible and indecorous way to announce the untimely and painful death of a man of Tosin Ogunmodede’s status and service to Ondo State.
“As you all know, the Ondo State Governor is seriously trying to hide the very fact that he celebrated the New Year in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, while he lackadaisically allowed refuse, dirt and debris to take over major streets of Akure, the State capital and other major towns.