Reuben Fasoranti, the foremost leader of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba social-political organisation, has led other leaders and elders in Ondo State to wade into the crisis between Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The feud had led to an impeachment proceeding initiated by lawmakers of the State House of Assembly against Mr Aiyedatiwa.
He was subsequently slammed with 14 allegations of gross misconduct by the parliamentarians.
At a meeting held on Monday at the residence of Mr Fasoranti in Akure, the elders and leaders expressed concerns over the differences between Messrs Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa.
They specifically asked the legislators in the House of Assembly to stop the impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor, Mr Aiyedatiwa, in the interest of the state.
Speaking on behalf of the leaders and elders, Seinde Arogbofa explained that the absence of Mr Akeredolu from the state for over three months gave room for political bickering.
Mr Arogbofa said the leaders have decided to preach peace between the loyalists of the governor and his deputy, especially with the lawmakers of the Assembly to sheath their sword.
“Having looked at so many things, it was the conclusion of the elders and leaders of Ondo State that, for now, there should be no impeachment of either the governor or the deputy. We are still looking at how things are going,” he said.
Mr Arogbofa added that the elders and leaders would have to meet with the lawmakers to ensure an end to the crisis between the duo of Mr Akeredolu and Mr Aiyedatiwa.
“It will be strange for us to talk to them and for them (lawmakers) to say No. One step after the other. We would contact all stakeholders and fashion out ways of maintaining peace and tranquility in the state.”
Also speaking, Lisa of Ondo Kingdom, Simeon Oguntimehin said the elders and leaders have all decided that the rule of law be adhered to in the interest of the state.
Mr Oguntimehin stressed that efforts were being made to ensure that peace reigns in the state, adding that the “sun must continue to shine.”
“We want everybody to cooperate with the Elders. We mean well for this state. We particularly want the Ondo State House of Assembly to cooperate if called upon, by Baba Fasoranti and the Elders in the state.
“Some of the elders participated in the creation of this state and they feel concerned and appeal to everybody to please cooperate.
“Ondo state used to be a leading state in the federation, whether you talk about education, even human and materials resources. We want to continue to be the first in the country,” he said.
He described the re-election of Mr Diri as a reward for his humility, hard work and good governance.