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General News of Friday, 9 June 2023


Ondo SDP worries over Akeredolu’s illness

Rotimi Akeredolu Rotimi Akeredolu

The Ondo State chapter of the Social Democratic Party, on Thursday, demanded that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who is said to be sick, should hand over to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to avert what the opposition party described as a constitutional crisis in the state.

The Ondo SDP, in a statement by its chairman, Stephen Adewale, said while it continued to pray for Akeredolu’s recovery, “the state should not and cannot be left without a constitutional head in an acting capacity while he (Akeredolu) is away attending to his health.”

In the statement, titled, ‘Akeredolu’s Illness: Time to avert constitutional crisis in Ondo State,’ the SDP said the governor needed to hand over to his deputy in acting capacity for effective running of the state.

The SDP said it noted that President Bola Tinubu had, in the last one week, met twice with state governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress while Akeredolu neither present nor represented was at the discussions.

“During each of those meetings, matters of national importance were discussed. Nearly all the governors were in attendance, and those who could not make it had their deputies fill in for them. The only state that was conspicuously missing, in terms of representation at the two meetings, is our dear Ondo State,” the SDP lamented.

It, therefore, called on the people and friends to speak out “on the increased level of uncertainty that hovered around the governance of our dear Sunshine State before it is too late.”

The opposition party said, “What began as a candlelight blaze is quickly snowballing into a sizable forest fire. And if we do not act quickly, history will not be kind to all of us who knew the incredible power of voice but chose silence.

“The SDP in Ondo State understands Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s health condition, for which we have been praying for a speedy recovery. However, the state should not and cannot be left without a constitutional head in an acting capacity while he is away attending to his health.

“As we write this, our dear governor has refused to hand over to his deputy in an acting capacity while his whereabouts remain unknown.”

The party demanded that while he recuperates, the governor should “immediately hand over constitutionally delegate power to the deputy in acting capacity so as to keep the state running effectively. And if he is strong enough to preside over the affairs of the state as his people claimed, then it is well past time for Governor Akeredolu to show up and prove the doubting Thomases wrong.

“We also call on every relevant stakeholder and patriots in the state to ensure that unnecessary and avoidable constitutional crisis in the management and functioning of the state government did not ensue.”

Meanwhile, the state government, in a statement on Thursday by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, debunked a media report suggesting a split in Akeredolu’s cabinet over his absence.

Ademola-Olateju described the report as wicked and malicious, insisisting that “the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, (SAN), is not incapacitated.”

“The cabinet cannot be ‘disunited’ when directives emanate from the office of the Governor. There is no ambiguity in that respect. We reiterate that the governor has been discharging the functions of his office effectively. Governance requires collectivity. The fixation on the governor is mischievous. There is no crisis in the state. Political jobbers should steer clear,” the statement read in part.