According to the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, the governance of the state has been crippled due to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu‘s prolonged absence as a result of his ill health.
In light of his medical vacation, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has temporarily transferred the authority of the governorship to his deputy, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who is now serving as the acting governor to ensure continuity In government.
In a statement, the Ondo State PDP raised the issue of governance paralysis in the state, alleging that the focus on politics by the governor’s aides has taken precedence over effective governance.
The statement reads, ‘It is a known fact that, around October 2024, the governorship election will hold in Ondo State. While the Independent National Electoral Commission is yet to officially release a timetable for the election, political parties and gladiators who have eyes on Alagbaka Government House come February 24, 2025, are not leaving anything to chance.’
‘The health status of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) shrouded as it were, in secrecy appears to be the launch pad for this epic battle.’
‘The people of Ondo State are completely in the dark as to the exact nature of Mr Governor’s health challenge, or how soon he will resume his official duties. In the letter addressed to the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, the Governor was reported to have proceeded on a 21-day medical vacation, to resume on 6th July, 2023. But on the expected date of resumption, the Commissioner of Information, Bamidele Ademola Olateju issued a statement to the effect that, Governor Akeredolu was in high spirits but will return on a date determined by his doctors in Germany. If another letter has been sent to the State Assembly to extend the tenure of Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa, as Acting Governor, it is not yet in the public domain.’
‘Perhaps, all these would have been normal, if the absence of the governor had not stagnated government business in the state. The tower of Babel has literally descended on the All Progressives Congress family and the government, as individuals and groups perch precariously on a balance of probabilities driven by the myth of uncertainty, in what has been famously described by Mrs. Betty Akeredolu as ‘peradventure’.’
“It is not unexpected that, the sudden absence of the enormous powers of a sitting governor from the arena in a pre-election year will precipitate this level of cacophony within a political family, what is strange is the extent and the drawback that has befallen government activities.
‘As at the last count, a number of aspirants have indicated their willingness to contest the 2024 gubernatorial election on the platform of APC. No doubt, the majority of them are pretenders or expecting some godfathers to endorse them or ride on the back of a non-existent power of incumbency to square up with the major opposition party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).’
The power struggle and neglect during Governor Akeredolu’s absence have created a challenging situation that will require considerable effort to resolve. The individuals who experienced abandonment will hold significant influence and their grievances will impact the APC government.
‘In the wake of economic hardship induced by the Bola Tinubu-led APC federal government, some state governments have taken proactive measures to alleviate the suffering of their citizens. Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State did not only declare free education for primary and secondary schools, but he also reduced school fees in government-owned Universities by 50%. What has been the response from the Ondo State government to the harsh economic realities in the state? Will the internal battles fought within the government suffice as an excuse for this lackluster performance? Will it be the excuse for the insensitivity of the government to the suffering of the people?’
‘More than ever before, parents most of whom have abandoned their cars due to the high cost of fuel are yearning for the return of free school shuttle buses. Students trek long distances to and from school because they cannot afford taxi fares. The tears in the eyes of both parents and students flow everyday accusingly at a regime that is totally lacking in the human face.’
‘For 2024, what will count is the APC scorecard. There is a limit to which people can be taken for a ride. In the words of Bob Marley, the legendary Jamaican musician.’
‘You can fool some people sometimes, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. 2024 will not be business as usual. It is a battle for the emancipation of the people from make belief prosperity.’
With the governor being flown out for medical treatment due to an undisclosed illness, the public has united in extending their thoughts and prayers, hoping for his swift recovery and a successful return to his active role in governance.