The Ondo State Government has said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, did not deride or belittle the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, when he visited the state.
The state said it was aware of a publication stating that Akeredolu did cast aspersion on the suitability of the Vice President and Presidential Aspirant in the forthcoming presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress.
It said a comment by Akeredolu was twisted to appear as a snide remark against Osinbajo who came to the state to meet with delegates.
The comment read thus, “When we were running around to ensure Buhari won the primaries in 2014, I sprained my ankle. My VP, Sir, you were not around. You were at the Holy Ghost night that day. You just moved from Holy Ghost Night to Aso Rock”.
This has been clarified in a statement signed by the Senior Special Adviser on Special Duties and Strategy to the Ondo Governor, Dr Doyin Odebowale.
The statement read, “Putting what transpired during the visit of the VP, within the context of the convivial atmosphere, exposes the mischief in the deliberate slant put to the statement published to satisfy partisan interest. The Governor of Ondo State is not only the Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, his colleagues in the whole of Southern Region defer to him as their spokesperson, mainly because of his principled stance on important issues affecting the country.
“Aketi’s position on succession pattern in the current politics is public knowledge. While he is not the one to hide behind a finger in taking a decision and making same known without equivocation, he will not be as brash as the statement purports. A situation which would have warranted the Governor to engage in a needless diatribe against a most respected professional colleague, friend and the number 2 citizen in the country would have been most unwarranted, uncharitable and disrespectful.
“The VP addressed the delegates of the State in his characteristic erudition and candour. The message delivered was well received. The aspirant stated the purpose of his visit in a most brilliant and jocular manner, regaling the audience with his signature brilliance and elocution. It would have been most unfortunate for anyone, let alone the host, to use this occasion to utter a statement that did not reflect the mood of the moment.
“The Governor acknowledged the contributions of Professor Yemi Osinbajo to the study and practice of Law and nation-building. He cited his case as typical of those who have benefited from uncommon divine munificence. He admonished politicians to always remember the role of the Almighty in the affairs of human beings. He expressed deep conviction on providence, that the Supreme Being gives power to anyone regardless of the scheming of people. He stated that if it was the will of Almighty that he would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, nobody would stop it from coming to pass.
“The Governor did not deride or belittle the Vice President. That would have been a most unconscionable, brash and indecent way to play politics while welcoming any visitor to Ondo State, reputed for hospitality, how much more the sitting Vice President. Aketi is the quintessential gentleman of the Bar. He enjoys the confidence and respect of Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.”