Ondo gov begins medical leave, transmits power to deputy

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, will commence his medical leave on Wednesday, as a follow-up to his medical treatment, his spokesman, Richard Olatunde, has said.

In a statement on Tuesday, Olatunde said during Akeredolu’s absence, the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, will assume the responsibilities of the governor in acting capacity.

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.

However, the governor’s second term, since January 2023, has not been a smooth sail as he had to be flown abroad for treatment over a medical condition in June. The 67-year-old politician returned to Nigeria in September after months overseas but stayed in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

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

Also, the governor’s loyalists in the state House of Assembly have been at loggerheads with Aiyedatiwa attracting President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.

In his statement, Olatunde said the governor will “prioritise his health and ensure a full recovery before resuming his official duties”.

“A formal letter regarding the medical leave and a notice formally transferring power in line with the Nigerian Constitution will be transmitted to the House of Assembly.

“As a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a widely respected Nigerian, Governor Akeredolu has consistently delegated power to his deputy during his annual vacations. This practice was observed on April 1, 2021, April 1, 2022, April 3, 2023, and July 10, 2023, when he embarked on previous vacations,” the statement partly reads.