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UPDATED: Lucky Aiyedatiwa sworn in as Ondo governor hours after Akeredolu's death

Aiyedatiwa was the Deputy Governor of Ondo State until Wednesday, December 13, 2023, when Akeredolu transferred power to him.

Lucky Aiyedatiwa [Premium Times]

The swearing-in ceremony, which was held at the Cocoa Conference Hall in the governor’s office in Akure, was administered by Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola.

“It is with a heavy heart that I accept this honorous responsibility of taking over the reins of governance and affairs of our state after the unfortunate loss and passing of our beloved governor and leader and my dear principal Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu,” Aiyedatiwa said in his opening remark as the Governor of Ondo State.

Aiyedatiwa was the Deputy Governor of Ondo State until Wednesday, December 13, 2023, when Akeredolu, who had been ill for months, eventually transferred power to him before he left the state for a medical vacation in Germany.

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According to a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, Akeredolu died on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, after battling prostate cancer.

The statement reads, “With a heavy heart, the Ondo State Government announces the passing of our beloved Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON.

“Mr. Governor peacefully departed from this world in the early hours of today, Wednesday, December 27, 2023. This tragedy has left behind a profound void in our hearts.

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

Aiyedatiwa’s journey to becoming the substantive Governor of Ondo State was not smooth as Akeredolu’s allies in the Ondo State House of Assembly plotted to impeach him as their principal’s deputy.

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The development nearly threw the state into political crisis as activists and constitutional lawyers called on the ailing Akeredolu to transmit power to Aiyedatiwa in line with the 1999 constitution.

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