The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has fired all aides attached to his deputy, Agboola Ajayi.
He took the decision on Tuesday following the defection of Mr Ajayi to the opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party. The spokesperson of the governor, Segun Ajiboye, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES.
The sacked aides are Olomu Bayo, special assistant, special duties; Allen Sowore, special assistant media; Olawale Mukaila, special assistant, photography, Babatope Okeowo, deputy chief press secretary; Samuel Ogunmusi, personal assistant, (deputy governor), Omotunmise Tokunbo, special assistant to the wife of the deputy governor; and Erifeyiwa Akinnugba, photography, wife of the deputy governor.
Speaking with our correspondent on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Okeowo, the spokesperson to Mr Ajayi said: “he has fired all of us but the deputy governor reappointed all of us immediately. Nothing lost”.
He told PREMIUM TIMES that all the aides remain loyal to Mr Ajayi.
On Saturday, Mr Ajayi was prevented from leaving the government house in Akure in an official vehicle by the state’s commissioner of police, Bolaji Salami.
Mr Salami said he recently caught wind of Mr Ajayi’s moves to defect from the APC to PDP, an action he said should render him unqualified for some official benefits.
In response, Mr Ajayi argued that he ought to enjoy the perks of office as an incumbent deputy governor. He said he used his personal funds to buy the Toyota Hilux truck from which he was being denied access.
The deputy governor had been at loggerheads with his party over the coming governorship election in the state before finally leaving the party on Sunday.
He, however, said he would not resign as deputy governor because he was elected on a joint ticket and would love to serve his people. Mr Ajayi has reportedly evacuated his personal belongings from the state government house.
He has also stopped sleeping at his official residence since Saturday when he travelled to his hometown in Apoi, Ese Odo Local Government Area.
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Sources in the government house told PREMIUM TIMES that he has not returned since he left on Saturday night and this was confirmed by Mr Ajayi’s spokesperson, Tope Okeowo, who said his principal is running for his life.
He was welcomed to PDP by the national chairman, Uche Secondus, and other top officials on the opposition party on Monday.