President Tinubu, along with other All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, has agreed to invoke the doctrine of necessity to appoint embattled Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa as acting governor, effectively resolving the five-month-long crisis in the state.
The decision was reached during a closed-door meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday. The meeting had President Tinubu together with members of Akeredolu’s cabinet and lawmakers from the Ondo State House of Assembly.
Governor Akeredolu, who returned from Germany in September after a prolonged medical leave, has remained absent from the state, opting to recuperate in his Ibadan residence. His extended absence has fueled political tension and uncertainty, prompting the need for a decisive resolution.
With the doctrine of necessity invoked, the Ondo State House of Assembly is expected to reconvene on Monday to formalise Aiyedatiwa’s appointment as acting governor, granting him full executive powers to steer the state forward.
The doctrine of necessity, a legal principle that allows for extraordinary measures to maintain order and uphold constitutional principles, has been previously employed in Nigeria’s political landscape. In 2010, it was invoked to resolve a similar crisis arising from the prolonged absence of then-President Umar Yar’Adua, paving the way for Goodluck Jonathan to assume the role of acting president.
President Tinubu’s intervention was driven by concerns over the escalating political tension in Ondo State, exacerbated by Akeredolu’s absence and the power struggles between cabinet members and lawmakers.
The meeting at the Presidential Villa brought together key figures, including national chairman of the APC Abdullahi Ganduje, Deputy Governor Aiyedatiwa, Ondo State Secretary to the Government Oladuni Odu, former APC national chairman Bisi Akande, Finance Commissioner Wale Akinrinwa, House Speaker Olamide Oladiji, APC state chairman Ade Adetimehin, and members of the National Assembly from Ondo State.
Notably, the governor’s wife, Betty Akeredolu, and son, Babajide, were reportedly denied entry to the meeting room during the critical decision-making process.