The Ondo State chapter of the Social Democratic Party had expressed its displeasure over the absence of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from office due to ill-health.
Akeredolu, according to the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, was indisposed.
But the opposition party said since the governor was indisposed, he ought to have handed the administration to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, for the latter to act as governor pending his Akeredolu’s return .
The party stated this in a statement issued by its state chairman, Stephen Adewale, on Thursday. The statement was titled, ‘Akeredolu’s Illness: Time to avert constitutional crisis in Ondo State’.
According to the statement, there was a need for the governor to hand over to his deputy in acting capacity for effective running of the state.
The statement read, “Ondo State and Ondo State friends must speak out on the increased level of uncertainty that hovered around the governance of our dear Sunshine State before it is too late. 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.
“In the past seven days, President Tinubu has met with the APC Governors’ Forum twice. 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.
“While he recuperates, therefore, we call on Governor Akeredolu to immediately hand over to 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.”
It added , “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. This is not the time for them to hide in their cocoon of imperturbability. This is not the time for the “Governor is getting better and everything is going on smoothly in the Ondo State” nonsense spewed by APC apologists and many politicians who are abetting the governor to shirk his constitutional responsibility.
“Unknown to these praise singers and those who have chosen silence over talking, no one suffers adversity alone and misery often seeks new neighbourhoods to occupy. No matter how these silent stakeholders in Ondo might feel, we will all be touched in varying degrees should this issue be allowed to deteriorate. A prolonged uncertainty over the administration of Ondo State will cost the state untoward setback. There is no doubt about this.
And that is why silence is dangerous now. Ondo State is in a rare moment in time when only genuine, exhaustive, and wide-ranging conversations can save the impending storm. This is the time to start the constitutional conversations.
“It is disturbing that a man who once sat atop the highest chair at the Nigeria Bar Association, who actively participated in denouncing an ailing head of state when the latter refused to hand over to his deputy, and who has devoted his entire life to defending the constitution of the land would blatantly and deliberately flout that very constitution. In the light of this, we implore Governor Akeredolu to safeguard his hard-earned reputation by handing over to his deputy in an acting capacity until he is capable of handling the state’s business.
This is a duty and responsibility that Governor Akeredolu owes to himself, his party members, his family, and the good people of Ondo State.”