Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State is dead

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu died on Wednesday at 67.

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state said arrangements were being concluded to swear in his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

The Ondo State government has confirmed that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu died of prostate cancer in the early hours of Wednesday in Germany.  

Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, disclosed this in a statement announcing the governor’s death in Akure, the state capital. 

“Governor Akeredolu answered the eternal call while receiving medical treatment in Germany,” the commissioner said. “He succumbed to complications arising from protracted prostate cancer.”

Ms Ademola-Olateju said a letter notifying President Bola Tinubu about the devastating news of Mr Akeredolu’s death has been forwarded to the presidency. 

While describing the governor as an extraordinary leader whose unwavering dedication to the state was unparalleled, the commissioner said, “This tragedy has left behind a profound void in our hearts.”

The Telegraph had on December 12, 2023, reported that Akeredolu is returning to Germany for further treatment.

The governor’s spokesperson, Richard Olatunde, in a statement, said Akeredolu would transmit a letter to the state House of Assembly handing over power to his deputy, Lucy Aiyedatiwa as the acting governor.

Akeredolu who was said to be suffering from cancer, had been going to Germany to treat the ailment during which he handed over to Aiyedatiwa in an acting capacity.

The governor went on medical vacation on April 3, 2023, and July 10, 2023. At that time, he handed over to the deputy governor. He returned to the country on September 7 and wrote the state House of Assembly informing the lawmakers.

Although the governor returned from a medical leave in Germany in September, he was not sighted in Ondo State as he was reported to be staying in his private residence in Ibadan.

His absence created a leadership vacuum in the state and the executive council was divided into two factions consisting of those loyal to the governor and loyalists of the deputy governor.

The governor in September sacked all the media aides attached to the office of the deputy governor. An insider source said the aides were sacked as a result of insubordination and flagrance disregard to the appropriate authority.

Meanwhile, after his second medical leave, Aiyedatiwa, who is acting in Akeredolu’s stead, called on the people of the state and all stakeholders to join him in carrying out the vision of the governor in moving the state forward.

Akeredolu had transmitted power to Aiyedatiwa to act as the governor after he returned to Germany on medical vacation. The governor had also informed the state House of Assembly about the development through a letter.

The acting governor, in a statewide broadcast, admitted that the political crisis that had engulfed the state in recent time have challenged the love for the state and democracy, urging everyone to forget the past, come together, and join hands with him to develop the state.

He said, “Yesterday is already behind us. This is the time to carry aloft, with love and affection for one another, the laudable vision and mission of the governor for the state. I appeal to every member of the government of Ondo State for your genuine support, cooperation, and dedication.

“We need a renewed unity to berth the significant and accelerated development clearly envisioned and vigorously pursued by Mr. Governor.

“My good people of Ondo state, what happened in the past was a temporary delay in our democratic journey. As a government, we have recovered.”