Read more below ⬇️

Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu. Photo/faceboo/rotimiaketi

The return of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, after three months of medical sojourn in Germany, may have begun to change the political dynamics of the state ahead of another gubernatorial election, SEYE OLUMIDE reports.

For those who thought he would not be relevant in playing major roles in who gets what in the next year governorship election, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s return could only be unsettling. For some of his core loyalists, it was a restoration of confidence to continue their agenda.

Irrespective of camps, his three months of absence and several months of inaction have left cracks in the internal politics of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Consequently, what the ruling party will face in the next couple of months is the conflict of interests among the gladiators, which will involve Akeredolu and other forces that have found their voices in the choice of potential successors.
It was gathered that President Bola Tinubu will play a big role in who wins in the next year’s governorship election, bearing in mind that the former governor of Lagos State, has made several efforts in previous years to have his candidate installed in the state, which has not been successful.
In 2008, President Tinubu, who was seen as the leader of Southwest politics, ‘invested’ heavily in the legal battle that eventually brought former governor, Olusegun Mimiko of the then Labour Party (LP) into office. Tinubu and Mimiko later fell apart.
In 2012, Tinubu backed Akeredolu to unseat Mimiko, but the incumbent lost to the former governor, who was re-elected for a second term. But in 2016, President Tinubu showed interest in Segun Abraham, one of his political protégé, but Akeredolu, who, as at then, had fallen apart with Tinubu, but still enjoyed the support of the Abuja cabal under former President Muhammadu Buhari, got the APC ticket and later became the governor, which ended eight years reign of LP under Mimiko.
Party sources said the interest of Tinubu has always been high and unrelenting in Ondo politics and nothing will be short of that come next year.
The third interest is likely going to be the various aspirants on the ruling party’s platform, and the zoning formula, which may favour Ondo South. This is likely to aggravate intrigues in the ruling party in addition to what played out in the last three months Akeredolu was away.
 But with the return of Akeredolu on Wednesday, when he arrived in Ibadan in Oyo State, instead of Ondo, the game and permutations ahead of 2024 will change depending on how strong and physically fit, the incumbent governor may be to handle the charged political affairs of the state and his party in the next few months.
Three months of absentee governor What played out in the last three months would determine how the governor is going to address issues, as there are already alignments and realignments of forces.
It is no longer news that the protracted ill-health of Akeredolu created tension within the ruling party and especially among the governorship hopefuls, jostling for the party’s nomination ticket come 2024.
The governor’s state of health and absence left an untoward effect on his cabinet members, who formed themselves into political cleavages peradventure the illness took more toll on Akeredolu. 
One of the issues that generated controversies was the failure of the governor to appropriately transmit power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as at the time he travelled abroad for medical attention.
It irked some stakeholders that Akeredolu, who was one of the ardent critics of late President Umaru Yar’Adua, for not transmitting power to his then vice president, Goodluck Jonathan, could have travelled for treatment abroad without transmitting power to his deputy.
 This initially split the ruling party in Ondo State, while the supporters of Aiyedatiwa clamoured for power transmission, other faction, who felt that transmitting power to the deputy would give Aiyedatiwa added advantage in the party’s governorship primary next year, opposed the power transmission argument.
Party’s stalwarts from Ondo South Senatorial zone, the area that may likely produce the next governor in 2024, if the zoning arrangement is strictly upheld, were principally involved in the intrigue.
Prominent among the names that were allegedly involved in the intrigue for power are the former National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), now APC chieftain, Chief Olusola Oke; the incumbent Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa; the lawmaker elect for Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim; running mate to Akeredolu in the 2012 gubernatorial election, Paul Akintelure; National Vice Chairman APC Southwest zone, Isaac Kekemeke, and host of others.
These stakeholders are from different parts of Ondo South and are said to be nursing ambitions to succeed the governor next year. Also mentioned in the power play are the wife of Akeredolu, Betty-Anyanwu and Babajide, the governor’s son.
No sooner had the governor travelled out, Aiyedatiwa, was accused of desperation to take over from his boss in acting capacity but a force led by the governor’s wife, his son, Commissioner for Finance and others allegedly did everything possible to stop him. This is despite the fact that the governor ‘deliberately’ did not hand over power to the deputy in accordance with the provision of the 1999 Constitution.
Indeed, some hawks within and outside the cabinet wanted Aiyedatiwa out, to prevent him from acting. The agenda was if Akeredolu did not survive the ailment, his deputy would not stand a good stead to succeed him.
The feeling was that if Aiyedatiwa is allowed to step in as acting governor; it will give him an edge over other aspirants for the party’s ticket next year.
But as if the governor himself knew what was at stake, he allegedly positioned his son strategically in the cabinet to ensure that he wields enough power through the agency he heads, which subjected all the commissioners, special advisers and the Head of Agencies to report directly to Babajide, for clearance before they could do anything.
Political commentators say that Akeredolu, who has had the premonition of his illness must have planned this ahead by empowering his son with such enormous power to render the deputy governor’s office incapacitated.
It was learnt that Governor Akeredolu allegedly sidelined his deputy with the consent of his wife, who was said to be unfavourably disposed to Aiyedatiwa succeeding her husband.
The governor’s wife is said to prefer Oke, who is from Ilaje in Ondo South, to take over from her husband since the governorship ticket may be zoned there.
For instance, former Governor Mimiko, who is from Ondo Central served eight years, Akeredolu from Owo, Ondo North will complete eight years in 2025, so the ticket will automatically return to Ondo South. Oke and Aiyedatiwa are from Ilaje, Akinterinwa is from Ile Oluji, Akintelure, who was deputy candidate-elect to Akeredolu in 2012 is also from Ondo South.
The Guardian gathered that owing to the enormous influence of the governor’s wife in the politics of Ondo, she was to be the one that facilitated the nomination of the incumbent deputy governor before they fell apart.