… I have begged him enough, says Abena
From Temitope Adedeji, Akure
The gulf between Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy, Agboola Ajayi may have deepened as facts also emerged that the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Sunday Abegunde, popularly called Abena, may have been caught in the crossfire of the increasing conflict on the premise that he (Abena) addresses the deputy governor as ‘Boss’.
WESTERN POST had earlier reported that Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi had recently come to Akure, the state capital, to settle the rift between Governor Akeredolu and some top functionaries of the state government and APC, a meeting attended by the deputy governor and SSG.
But all efforts by Dr Fayemi to resolve the differences and settle the feud had ended in futility.
Meanwhile, it would be recalled that SSG Abegunde was initially a close ally of the Governor Akeredolu. Their relationship could be likened to that between the late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari and his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, when the former was alive.
Being a highly experienced and fearless politician, Abena wields tremendous influence in his constituency where his word is almost law.
The governor initially acknowledged this influence of Abena in the build-up to the last governorship election that brought him into the power for which he later rewarded him with the position of SSG but this same influence is said to be agonising for Akeredolu at present.
Governor Akeredolu’s attitude towards Abena is said to have suddenly changed, a development that is not lost on the SSG himself.
On many occasions, Abena was said to have enquired from the governor as to the sudden change in attitude without any cocrete response.
He was said to have apologised to the governor to no avail.
Alagbaka Government House sources also told WESTERN POST that the SSG at one point traveled to Ọwọ, the governor’s countryhome, to plead with the monarch, Oba Gbadebo Gbadegesin Ogunoye who in turn contacted Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, to join him in pleading with Akeredolu to forgive his SSG.
The two monarchs fixed a meeting for Deji’s Palace to which they invited the duo of Akeredolu and Abena.
Governor Akeredolu who reportedly arrived at the venue of the meeting before the SSG had no qualms waiting for his SSG to arrive.
When Abena eventually arrived, the two traditional rulers joined him in appealing to Akeredolu to bury the hatchet and forgive his SSG.
The SSG prostrated before governor to forgive him.
At that point, the two royal fathers felt their job had been done and their worst fears were over.
However, this is far from the position. WESTERN POST gathered that the SSG would have since been relieved of his job but no thanks to the sudden advent of COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides, time is also against the governor in his preparation for the reelection. Because of all that, Abena’s sack has been put in abeyance.
As it were, the battle ranges on between the governor and his key officers even as the election is less than four months away.
With his fate hanging in the balance, the SSG is said to be chummy with the deputy governor. The duo Ajayi and Abena combined with the opposition baying for the governor’s blood may prove lethal and poisonous for Governor Akeredolu’s second term project, except the problem is amicably resolved.
Both the deputy governor and SSG are said to be political heavyweights in their constituencies and command large following across the state.
The deputy governor is a former House of Representatives member from Ilaje Ese Odo area of the state while Abena formerly represented Akure North/South also in the same upper legislative chamber in Abuja.