Akeredolu:What The Law Says, If A Sitting Governor Dies In Nigeria?
The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), became the third Nigerian governor to die while in office after the former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa and ex-Governor Mamman Ali of Yobe State.
Akeredolu died at the age of 67 after a protracted illness. With Akeredolu’s death, some Nigerians may ask what will happen now in the state.
So, in Nigeria, if a sitting governor dies, a specific chain of activities takes place to ensure a smooth transition of power and continued operation of the state government.
With the declaration of the death of the governor, his deputy automatically assumes the role of the governor as required by the law. This happens immediately to maintain continuity of leadership in the state.
The state government will officially announce the governor’s death and declare a period of mourning. During this time, flags are flown at half-mast, and government activities may be adjusted or postponed for a while.
This provision is in line with Section 191(1) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.
The constitution states: “The Deputy Governor of a State shall hold the office of Governor of the State if the office of Governor becomes vacant because of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity, or removal of the governor from office for any other reason by sections 188 or 189 of this constitution.”
The deputy governor will have to complete the remaining term of his deceased boss, in which case he may decide to contest the next election or hand over power to whoever emerges as the winner after the election.