CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Robert Boroffice, have differed over what becomes of Ondo State Deputy Governor Ali Olanusi who has defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Senator, who is an APC member from Ondo North Senatorial District, in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, alleged that Governor Olusegun Mimiko had perfected strategies to impeach his deputy.
He also alleged that the deputy governor was already being harassed with thugs, thus putting his life in danger.
He stated that the deputy governor had the right to defect to any party since Mimiko, who contested the seat on the platform of Labour Party alongside Olanusi, had also defected to PDP.
Boroffice said: “As the Asiwaju of Akokoland, our people have mandated me to warn the governor against making attempt to frustrate an industrious and highly prominent Akoko man out of his government simply because he defected to another party.
“Alhaji Olanusi, who is our dear son, had helped to stabilise Mimiko’s administration, and we will not fold our arms and watch Governor Mimiko frustrate or disgrace him out of office because he has not done anything wrong.
“We will not agree with his antics. He should leave our son alone to enjoy the joint ticket he won together with Mimiko. We are solidly behind him in Akokoland.”
But two groups have a different view. They are National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS) and Concerned Ondo State Youth.
NAOSS gave the state House of Assembly seven days ultimatum to impeach Olanusi for what they described as betrayal.
The students made this demand on Monday when they led a peaceful protest to the Governor’s Office in Akure.
Hundreds of them carried placards with various inscriptions like, “No more grand father, Ali Must Go, Olanusi Must Go, This is the Government of the youths, Olanusi is not a good leader” among others.
Speaking on behalf of the students, NAOSS President, Awodola Afolayan said: “The deputy governor had never been of any benefit to anybody in the state including the youths only for him to defect to another political party a day to the election.”
He described the deputy governor as docile, dormant and passive person whose action was capable of truncating the peace enjoyed in the state.
Afolayan said that the defection of the deputy governor was for selfish reasons and not in the interest of his people.
Also speaking, Southwest Vice President of the National Association of Nigerians Students, Timilehin Ayenuro, said that they supported the good governance enjoyed in the state and would not allow anybody to destabilise the peace for any selfish interest.
He said that the state House of Assembly should start the process of impeaching Olanusi immediately and assured Mimiko of their absolute loyalty.
Addressing the students, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Kola Ademujimi, commended them for their peaceful conduct and charged them not to allow anything that could cause the breach of peace.
He assured them that their message would be delivered appropriately.
The second youth group also staged a peaceful protest to the Governor Office yesterday to equally demand Olanusi’s exit as deputy governor.
According to the spokesperson for the group, Akintunde Lawal, the defection of Olanusi would definitely hinder the existing peace and development being recorded by Mimiko’s administration in the last six years.
Lawal said: “The deputy governor defected to APC just some hours to the general election thinking that the APC will have majority seats in the State Assembly to enable him become the next governor of Ondo State.
“But we the youth of the state rose up to the occasion and voted massively for the PDP candidates and the result is the demonstration of our love for the governor.”
Insisting that the deputy governor ”must leave now without delay,” the group said: “ A treacherous person like Jasper is not fit to continue in the government of Ondo State and he should be impeached if he refuses leave honourably.”
Receiving them, Ademujimi appreciated their support and for voting enmasse for PDP candidates in the assembly election, saying it would spur government to perform better.
He added: “If a performing government is voted out, it will discourage performance. That you appreciate the excellent performance of Dr. Mimiko and you voted enmasse for the candidates of his party shows that your support for the success of his government is irreversible. The result of the election is an encouragement for the present administration and for the incoming administration.”