The Ondo State Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on Monday, debunked a report that he was involved in a certificate forgery scandal, describing the report as the handiwork of some of his political detractors.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Ebenezer Adeniyan, in a statement said the report was false and a ploy to distract the new governor.
According to him, an unnamed governorship aspirant is behind the forgery claim.
Aiyedatiwa is less than two weeks in office as governor. He was sworn in on December 27, 2023, following the demise of his principal, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who lost his protracted battle against prostate cancer.
Before Akeredolu’s death, Aiyedatiwa was acting governor and had battled an impeachment plot launched against him by the state House of Assembly, believed to be loyal to Akeredolu.
The ascension of Aiyedatiwa to power has seen some of Akeredolu’s loyalists resign their cabinet appointments.
In a statement titled ‘Certificates: the blackmailers are at it again,’ the governor’s aide described the forgery allegation as false and mischievous.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to the mischievous plans by some political actors to embark on fresh unsubstantiated allegations against the Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
“After failing woefully with their attempts to paint the governor in bad light with the stories around the death of the former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, these desperate elements have resorted to blackmail. The first of such is to use faceless groups and individuals to make allegations of certificate forgery against the governor.
“A governorship aspirant last night held a meeting with some individuals at a popular hotel in Akure where he gave the directive to those present to write stories alleging that the governor used forged certificates to contest the election.”
Adeniyan added that the allegation was part of the plot allegedly aimed at discrediting the governor ahead of the upcoming September governorship election in the state.
“Mr. Governor contested in a joint ticket with his former principal in the 2020 governorship election and his credentials were duly submitted to the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) and they are in the public domain.
“Mr. Governor remains committed to delivering on his promises to develop Ondo State and will not be distracted by the shenanigans of shameless politicians and their cronies,” he said.