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The ‘Many Sins’ of Aiyedatiwa! Beyond Ondo Governor’s Gaffe On First Day In Office

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The ‘Many Sins’ of Aiyedatiwa! Beyond Ondo Governor’s Gaffe On First Day In Office

The ‘Many Sins’ of Aiyedatiwa! Beyond Ondo Governor’s Gaffe On First Day In Office
January 01
16:59 2024

Being tactful in audacity is knowing how far one can go too far. But newly sworn-in Ondo Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, is oblivious to this fact.

His conduct at his recent inauguration is delicately poised between a cliché and an indiscretion.

Despite declaring a three-day mourning of his predecessor, Rotimi Akeredolu’s demise, Aiyedatiwa’s conduct at his swearing-in ceremony has incited widespread consternation in the political space and the social media.

The celebration was considered tactless and distasteful. Pundits criticised the overall tenor of the event that seemed to take the form of gloating; they condemned, in particular, Aiyedatiwa’s jubilation highlighting his inappropriate choice of expressions such as “aku ori ire eni” (congratulations to us for today’s success).

And there it was: the tactless severity of his utterance, not a single doubt about his coherence, cocky with self-confidence and the vanity of knowing what matters most.

Aiyedatiwa’s ruthless sense of entitlement. The annihilative whim in the face of an obstacle. Everything is a target. The most important symptom of tact derives from this respect for the individuality of oneself and others: sensitivity.

Celebrating in such a manner, was insensitive, considering how he attained his elevation (due to Akeredolu’s death from a protracted illness). There is also the argument in several quarters that Aiyedatiwa’s exuberance on his first day of office as the Executive Governor of Ondo State amounted to a significant misstep.

Aiyedatiwa’s conduct raised eyebrows as concerned political stakeholders in Ondo questioned his maturity and inability to maintain a more subdued demeanour during his swearing-in, given the circumstances.

Aside from triggering reactions on social media, Aiyedatiwa’s perceived gloating attracted disapproval from President Bola Tinubu, who reportedly summoned him after his swearing-in ceremony.

President Tinubu reportedly summoned the newly sworn-in Ondo governor to Lagos State for a meeting. The president’s invitation came after eyebrows were raised over how Aiyedatiwa embarked on “celebration and jubilation” at his swearing-in on Wednesday.

His predecessor and former Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, died of cancer on Wednesday in a hospital in Germany, paving the way for Aiyedatiwa to be sworn into office.

The swearing-in ceremony was presided over by the Chief Judge of Ondo, Justice Olusegun Odusola, who was sworn in by Akeredolu as the 12th Chief Judge of the state in February 2023.

Akeredolu died on Wednesday in Germany after a protracted battle with cancer. The 67-year-old returned to Nigeria in September after a three-month medical leave in Germany and only recently proceeded on another one after President Tinubu directed him to hand over power to his deputy, Aiyedatiwa.

His deputy, Aiyedatiwa had been standing in as Acting Governor. Following his return to Nigeria in September, Akeredolu stayed in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital and tried to govern his state from there, sparking public outrage.

Against the backdrop of criticisms that trailed Governor Aiyedatiwa’s celebration, some interesting developments have occurred in his private and public life.

For instance, the citizenry of Ondo state await eagerly to see if Oluwaseun, wife of Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, would resume office as First Lady of the Sunshine state.

Oluwaseun has not been in the state in the past seven months. She has been in London.

And the reason is not farfetched. In June this year, the Society for Women Empowerment (SWE) issued a seven-day ultimatum to Aiyedatiwa to tender public apology to his wife for beating her in the presence of his staff.

The group threatened to carry out a massive protest if Aiyedatiwa failed to apologise. The National Coordinator of SWE, Damilola Charles, had alleged in a statement, that Aiyedatiwa repeatedly beat his wife in the presence of his staff and friends, while he was deputy governor under late Akeredolu’s leadership.

Aiyedatiwa, in a statement, denied beating his wife and blamed political detractors for spreading the rumours. He described reports of his domestic abuse and assault on his wife as baseless and false.

According to the statement, “Any report of alleged domestic issues within the family should be taken as the handiwork of the enemies of the State who are bent of causing crisis where there is none and we therefore warn those spreading such falsehood to desist or face the consequences.

“It is concerning to see that a faceless group said to be headed by a name not known anywhere in the State could sell such fabrication to media men. It is more concerning, however, that such a lie, which was not backed with any evidence, could be promoted into a news item by journalists.”

Oluwaseun responded in a cryptic message on her Facebook page over the allegation of her fleeing to the United Kingdom due to assault by her husband.

The message posted alongside a video in which she was seen dancing reads, “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lives. This staggering statistic highlights the pervasive nature of domestic violence and its impact on women globally. Say NO to domestic violence!”

It was later said her Facebook page was hacked. Also, Oluwaseun was not seen or heard all through the impeachment saga her husband went through.

No former governor of Ondo had served without a First Lady, and it is unlikely that Aiyedatiwa will be the first to do so.

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Opeyemi

Opeyemi

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