Following the rumours of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s death, the Ondo State government on Saturday, urged the people of the state to ignore such a rumour, adding that the governor is very much alive.
There has been tension in the state about the whereabouts of the governor since he resumed his annual vacation.
The major opposition party in the state, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had on Saturday demanded that those hiding the governor should tell the people where he is to save the state from speculation.
In a statement signed by the state publicity secretary of the part, Kennedy Ikantu Peretei, the party said the handlers and managers of Akeredolu, have once again proved that they are not on top of their assignments.
According to Perettei, “They will rather take everybody in the state for granted.”
He said, “Since Sahara Reporters reported that the governor is bedridden and incapacitated, Akeredolu’s handlers responded by fueling public anxiety and suspicion, instead of telling the State, where exactly he is, or getting him to address Ondo State, from wherever he is on planet earth.
“When Akeredolu did not return to his duty post after his celebrated annual leave in March this year, tongues started wagging. At the inauguration of President Bola Tinubu in Abuja, Akeredolu was conspicuously absent.
“The deafening silence from government information machinery suddenly saturated social media space with old videos of Akeredolu dancing and singing praises.
“On the eve of the inauguration of the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly, there were reports of an ‘Owo cabal’ led by Akeredolu’s heir apparent, Babajidmobilizingng Members-elect to make a legislator from Owo Speaker, as a fallback position to retain the leadership of the state in Owo, in the event of the worst happening, after impeaching the incumbent Deputy Governor.
“These speculations almost put the state on edge until this morning when the Ondo State House of Assembly retained the present power structure of Speakership of the Assembly in Ondo Central Senatorial District.
“If Akeredolu’s handlers had done the needful, the state would have been spared the unnecessary anxiety.
“As mortals, any human being can fall sick. Whether in public office or private life. Rotimi Akeredolu is employed by the people of Ondo State and, maintained with taxpayers’ money. So, it is criminal and a great disservice to keep mum over his health status and his whereabouts.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State Chapter, demanded that those hiding the governor should tell the people where he is to save the state from speculation.
“In 2010, when then-President Umar Yar’Adua was incapacitated due to health, Akeredolu was one of the most vociferous voices, calling for his resignation and allowing the then Vice-President to take over. If for whatever reason, Akeredolu can no longer discharge his official responsibilities, the most reasonable thing to do is to hand over to the Deputy Governor as required by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“Our party joins millions of Ondo State people to pray for Akeredolu’s quick recovery, but nobody should play politics with his health. Nobody should ground the state beyond its present state. Let Akeredolu resign if he is no longer fit to be governor.
But, in a swift reaction, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, said though the Governor has been indisposed, he has been attending to state matters and delegating functions to functionaries of the Government, when necessary.”
Olateju hinted that “We have been inundated with calls and messages concerning the state of health of the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON.
“We had chosen to ignore this wicked fabrication until it appeared that certain persons seek to draw political mileage from the disinformation.
“We enjoin the members of the public to ignore rumor. Aketi is very much alive.”