The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr Agboola Ajayi, on Wednesday, alleged that the Nigerian Police Force has withdrawn his police escort.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the deputy governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Babatope Okeowo, in Akure.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there has been rancour between Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his deputy for some time.
The seemingly intractable crisis had led to Ajayi’s defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on June 21 at his home town, Apoi, in Ese-Odo Local Government area of the state.
NAN also reports that Akeredolu had, on Tuesday, sacked seven aides of the deputy governor and his wife.
“The deputy governor wishes to raise the alarm over the withdrawal of his police escort on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Bolaji Salami, thus putting his life and those of his family and staff in danger.
The statement also alleged that the police had, on June 21, taken the deputy governor hostage for more than four hours at the Government House.
“This happened despite the fact that Ajayi enjoys immunity under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are not oblivious of their surreptitious move to undermine the security of the deputy governor and strip him of his security apparatus to make him vulnerable in order to carry out their evil agenda,” the statement said.
It called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Director-General of State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi, to be aware of ‘this latest ugly development in Ondo State’.
“Should anything happen to the deputy governor, his family and staff, the commissioner of police in Ondo State should be held responsible,” the statement said.
When contacted on the telephone, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, the Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state command, denied the allegation, describing it as unfounded.
“I am not aware of the withdrawal of the police escort of the state deputy governor. It is not true,” Ikoro said.