Lucky Ayedatiwa, Like Goodluck Jonathan, is Lucky – By BANJI OGUNDELE

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And so, Lucky Ayedatiwa, like Goodluck before him, should also thank God for being lucky to escape impeachment, which once became free for all in Nigeria.

Ondo State was becoming a theatre of war and on the verge of combustion when Chief Rueben Fasoranti (what a name!), not Pa Ayo Adebanjo, of the Afenifere and Bekita Bello (Secretary) – and where was our own Jare Ajayi? – and others wrote to Nigeria’s President, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to intervene and restore peace in Ondo State.

Within 48 hours and not minding he was just arriving from one of his grossly mistimed, misplaced and unnecessary trips abroad when his people are suffering at home under chronic economic meltdown, the president promptly summoned the warring parties to Abuja.

Tinubu resorted to the “Doctrine of Necessity” once applied by the Senate under Senator David Mark on February 8, 2010, to rescue Nigeria from descending into the abyss, following the illness of President Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, on his dying bed, who was not allowed to hand over power to his deputy, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

President Yar’Adua had failed, on November 22, 2009, to write a letter to both the Senate and the House of Representatives to hand over to his deputy, as stipulated in Sec 145 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, when going for treatment abroad.

Though touted as strictly unconstitutional, the Doctrine was applied to solve a situation not envisaged by the writers of the Constitution. And it had been used in Pakistan (1954) and Granada (1985) before Nigeria in 2010. And it worked each time.

The president summoned all the warring parties met in Abuja, except Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, whose wife and son were equally barred from attending the meeting despite their presence at Aso Rock.

Party stalwarts, including APC national chairman, the embattled deputy governor, Lucky Ayedatiwa, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Oladiji Olumide, party officials from Ondo State, were all at the meeting, which lasted four hours.

Arakunrin Akeredolu should thank God for his life. He is still the substantive governor, as agreed to at the meeting, and should be content that he was one of the most successful and courageous of this era, as long as good health permitted. He paid his dues creditably. He was and still is a dogged fighter. A brave man. A reputable and seasoned lawyer. With brain and brawn. His credentials are unassailable. You can go to any bank with them!

And so, Lucky Ayedatiwa, like Goodluck before him, should also thank God for being lucky to escape impeachment, which once became free for all in Nigeria.

The agreement was to maintain the status quo in all fronts and impeachment is one of these fronts: no longer to be revisited. As Acting governor, Ayedatiwa must not rock the boat, since the substantive governor is only recuperating, out of harm’s way and waiting in the wings: he can be well at any time and retrieve his job.

Whatever may be the cost, peace and progress must be allowed to reign in Ondo State that will face election next September.


Ogundele, a former Editor of the Nigerian Tribune, writes from Ibadan.

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