Hundreds of indigenes of Ilaje communities in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Tuesday, stormed Akure, the state capital to protest against the ongoing impeachment process on the deputy governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
Aiyedatiwa, who is also an Ilaje man, has been served an impeachment notice by the state House of Assembly and was expected to respond to all the allegations in the notice.
The protesters, who gathered in front of the entrance of the Assembly gate with leaves in their hands, were chanting various solidarity songs to express their support for the embattled deputy governor.
Some of them carried placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘Justice for Lucky, Lucky is innocent’, ‘Stop alleging him wrongly, “Ilaje Nation stands with Aiyedatiwa,’ “Aketi, Lucky is not your enemy,’ ‘Let Lucky finish his term,’ among several others.
The protesters alleged that the impeachment proceeding was a plot to take Aiyedatiwa out of the race of the 2024 governorship election in the state.
Speaking on the development, one of the leaders of the protesters and founder of the Ilaje World Congress, Mr Ola Juda, declared that the indigenes of Ilaje would not accept the impeachment move against Aiyedatiwa.
He alleged that the protest was not only organised by the Ilaje people but also by other people across the state who were not pleased with the action of the state House against the deputy governor.
He said, “This gathering is the gathering of sons and daughters of Ilaje land; not only Ilaje, we have other sympathisers from Akure and Ese-Odo Idanre areas that have come together to protest against injustice and the battle that is going to erupt in Ondo State. The peace of Ondo State is being threatened by the actions of the Ondo State House of Assembly.
“Ilaje has been without light for the past few days. The House of Assembly cannot pass a bill to quicken the authorities to make sure there’s light on Ilaje land. The whole of Ilaje land is about to be taken away, by the ocean, every part of Ilaje is gone due to the oil exploitation in our area, and yet the Ondo Assembly cannot pass a bill that will enhance the development in the community.
“For the past decades, an Ilaje man had never been a deputy governor but for the first time, we have a deputy governor, and yet the power that be has vowed that he will not finish his tenure. Aketi/Lucky mandate was given to both of them and if Aketi is still the governor of Ondo State, our own mandate as the deputy governor still remains.
“Any of the members of the House of Assembly from Ilaje land that signs any motion of impeachment against Lucky Ayiedatiwa, against the Ilaje mandate, is on his own; the Ilaje people have not sent him to sign anything; they haven’t told us that Lucky has done anything bad.
“The cabals have come together to say that Lucky beats his wife, and now they say it is gross misconduct. They would later say he wants Aketi ( Akeredolu) to die. Did Agboola also want Aketi to die? Now, it is Lucky that wants Aketi to die. Anybody should not tamper with the mandate of Ilaje. If you think you can chase Lucky, don’t worry; we will pay you back next year in the same coin.”
However, no member of the House got out to address the protesters but the Akure Area Commander of the state police command, Mr. Nzota Chidi, advised the protesters to be peaceful in order not to be hijacked by miscreants.