Close aides to Ondo State Deputy Governor, Ali Olanusi, say he is being subjected to unjustified stress by state lawmakers who are plotting his removal after his refusal to resign voluntarily.
Several state legislators say the deputy governor is not really fit to continue his job as a result of his old age which one of them described as “a nursing sickness.”
Mr. Olanusi has been a subject of public discussion for the past three years as a result of his sudden illness which some of his aides blame on old age, even though they insist that his health has not impeded his performance of little official functions.
The state twenty-five lawmakers recently resumed sitting after a short recess following the burial of their late Speaker, Samuel Ajayi Adesina. Several of the lawmakers disclosed that a motion for the deputy governor’s impeachment might be moved anytime now.
Some of the lawmakers said the deputy governor’s inability to perform his duties had become a source of great embarrassment.
Legislative sources indicated that Mr. Olanusi has some backers in the state assembly, but that those who want him impeached are in the majority.
A Government House source also told SaharaReporters that, even though Governor Olusegun Mimiko has been silent on the removal of his deputy, he is quietly encouraging acting Speaker, Dare Emiola, to act on the impeachment. Both Mr. Emiola, who represents Akoko South West Constituency I at the assembly, and Mr. Olanusi are from Akokoland.
Mr. Mimiko, a known political lone ranger who has aspirations to become the biggest political godfather in the state, was instrumental in choosing Mr. Emiola for the deputy speaker post. It is unclear, however, whether Mr. Emiola would yield to the governor’s pressure to call a vote on the impeachment of the deputy governor.
An associate of Mr. Emiola stated that the acting speaker was caught in a bind between loyalty to the governor and sympathy for a fellow Akoko politician. “He might be termed ‘a bastard’ for moving against someone from the same Akoko clan,” said the source.
Legislative sources added that it was also unclear where the five lawmakers from Akokoland stand in relation to the plot to impeach the deputy governor. The five are Banso Adeyinka Alexander, who represents Akoko North West I, Aladetimehin Joseph Olusola, representing Akoko North West II, Fatai Olotu, representing Akoko North East, Ogunbi Abiodun, representing Akoko South West II, and Dailo Stegelin Ajayi, representing Akoko South East.
Mr. Olanusi has faced a barrage of insults over his ‘old age.’ At some state functions, unruly youths had interrupted Mr. Olanusi’s speeches and booed him, demanding his resignation.
“We want him to go because when he speaks, you hardly hear whatever he says,” said a youth leader who asked that his name not be used.
Mr. Olanusi was born on February 28, 1942. He was a former state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003 before he joined the Labor Party (LP) and became a running mate to Mr. Mimiko.
Mr. Olanusi, a Muslim, continues to enjoy wide support among fellow Muslims who want him to continue in the post of deputy governor. A Muslim politician in the state told SaharaReporters that any attempt to impeach Mr. Olanusi “would be seen as war against us.” The man added that the deputy governor has been a source of great support to Muslims in the state.
An aide of the deputy governor accused the governor of marginalizing Mr. Olanusi and rendering him “a mere figure head.” He stated that the deputy governor is hardly briefed on the goings-on in the state.
“Alhaji Olanusi only knows what is going on in the state through news and programs aired on the state-owned television and radio stations as well some few media stations present in the state,” said the source. He added, “You won’t believe that the deputy governor most often hears of major state issues and decisions on the television and radio just like any other citizen.”
Some associates of Mr. Olanusi told SaharaReporters that the deputy governor finds it difficult to voluntarily resign because he needs access to government funds for his medical care.
Despite Mr. Olanusi’s frequent medical trips abroad, his health appears to continue to worsen, our correspondent said. He nearly collapsed as he attempted to climb onto a stage during a recent function held at the Adegbemile Cultural Center when the Master of Ceremony (MC) introduced him.