The All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the House of Representatives, loyal to the late Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, have called on President Tinubu to caution Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, for alleged disrespect for their late principal.

Saturday PUNCH reported that Aiyedatiwa’s emergence as governor of Ondo State followed the demise of Akeredolu on December 27, 2023.

In an open letter addressed to President Tinubu and signed by six lawmakers comprising Adesida Abiodun (Akure North/South), Timehin Adelegbe (Owo/Ose), Festus Ayodele (Ileoluji- Okeigbo/Odigbo), Ojogo Kimikanboh(Ilaje/ Ese- Odo), Odimayo John (Okitipupa/Irele) and Adegboyega Adefarati (Akoko South West/South East) Federal Constituencies, the lawmakers warned of dire consequences for the APC if Aiyedatiwa does not retrace his steps.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, the leader of the caucus, Adesida called on President Tinubu to wade into the matter and save the face of the ruling party, particularly with the governorship election due in November.

He accused Gov Aiyedatiwa of taking official decisions that gave him away as a man with little or no respect for the legacies left behind by the late Akeredolu.

Adesida said, “The deputy governor appointed by Mr Aiyedatiwa is a well-known political adversary of the late governor. Despite hailing from Owo, they never saw eye to eye during the late governor’s lifetime. Olajide Adelami caused a great deal of trouble for the late Akeredolu during his bid for re-election in 2020 to which you were committed.

“Furthermore, it has become common knowledge in the state that Mr Aiyedatiwa has aligned himself with every disgruntled and established political enemy of the late Akeredolu. As an example, the appointment of Barrister Kola Olawoye, a suspended APC member and former Attorney General of the state, as Aiyedatiwa’s campaign coordinator in Owo has been widely condemned by loyal party members, particularly in Owo.

“Mr President, the governor has created a significant divide and caused deep discord among party members. Currently, the party’s state Chairman, Ade Adetimehin, is being marginalised and sidelined. To make matters worse, Governor Aiyedatiwa has resorted to sending his proxies to warn the chairman and pressure him into resigning. It is a bad situation, sir.

The lawmakers further urged Tinubu to “prevent Ondo State from falling into the hands of the opposition due to internal conflicts,” adding that there is an “urgent need for decisive and unifying leadership becomes more evident than ever.”

However, the lawmaker representing Ondo East/Ondo West Federal Constituency, Mr Abiola Makinde, in a statement, lambasted his colleagues, describing their concern and loyalty to late Akeredolu as fake.

He said, “With due respect to my colleagues, I think this letter has revealed those who intend to create a crisis in the party than averting it. That lawmakers who are leaders in their constituencies would suddenly wake up to protect the dead Former Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, whom they abandoned when he was alive is self-defeating.

“Since the death of the former governor, this caucus has not deemed it fit to pay a condolence visit to his family, but yet they claim to now love him in death more than when he was alive. What was the role of the caucus during the inglorious days of thick politics that nearly brought down our state last year? How many letters did we write to the president to save the state from those who deliberately clogged it?”

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Ebenezer Adeniyan, declined comment on the matter.

However, the deputy governor, Adelami has refuted the allegation that he was an enemy of the late Governor Akeredolu.

In a statement by the Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Mr John Paul Akinduro, Adelami described the allegation as malicious and falsehood from the accusers.

The statement read partly, “Chief Adelami was never an enemy of the late governor nor any other political player in Ondo State or elsewhere. The deputy governor is a decent politician and philanthropist with a verifiable track record.

“It is instructive to note that Chief Adelami has always been a strong member of the APC and staunch supporter and dependable ally of late Governor Akeredolu for eons.

“Worthy of mention is the fact that the deputy governor gave moral, political, and financial support to the late governor during the electioneering campaigns, leading to his first and second terms in office and, subsequently rendered the same support all through his tenure as governor of Ondo State.”