A group, the Ondo State Consciousness Movement has condemned the continued absence of the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, from office, and the prolonged disagreement between the governor and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The group also described as a proxy war that is disrupting the lives of the people of Ondo State, the recent move by the Ondo State House of Assembly to impeach Aiyedatiwa; while also condemning the sealing of the Peoples Democratic Party’s secretariat in the state over a planned protest by some youths.
The OSCM made the development known on Tuesday in a statement by its chairman, Shalom Olaseni, which was obtained by our correspondent.
Olaseni said, “The Ondo State Consciousness Movement rises with stern resolve to condemn the actions of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his agents for interfering with the constitutional rights of the people to peaceful assembly and protest against perceived societal wrongs. The recent events unfolding in Ondo State have plunged the state into a grave crisis, jeopardising good governance and the well-being of its citizens.
“The Ondo State House of Assembly’s recent attempt to impeach Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, followed by the swift suspension of the impeachment proceedings through a Federal High Court order, is nothing short of a proxy war that is disrupting the lives of the people. While the political power tussle rages on, the state is left to suffer as resources and energy that should be directed toward development are squandered on internal strife.
“It is evident that Governor Akeredolu’s prolonged absence from his office, allegedly due to a medical hiatus, has brought governance to a near standstill. During this time, Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa stepped into the breach and demonstrated his competence in managing the state’s affairs effectively and fairly. His actions, widely acclaimed by many, have been overshadowed by a vindictive agenda against him, with accusations of disloyalty to the Governor.
“The consequences of this ongoing power struggle have been felt throughout the state. The Deputy Governor’s meteoric rise to prominence has come at the cost of his relationship with the Governor and others within the cabinet. The state is now paying the price for these internal conflicts as governance remains stagnant, and the people bear the brunt of it,”
While noting the need for authorities to respect the Ondo people’s constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and protests, the group urged the governor, his deputy, and the State Assembly to resolve the prolonged internal crisis.
“Furthermore, we strongly condemn the recent actions by the Department of State Services and the Police Personnel, who sealed off the Ondo State PDP secretariat in reaction to the party’s youth protesting the Governor’s prolonged absence from office without just cause. This heavy-handed response to a peaceful demonstration infringes upon the fundamental rights of citizens and undermines the principles of democracy.
“The Ondo State Consciousness Movement urges Governor Akeredolu to prioritize the welfare of the people above personal conflicts. We call on him to return to his duties and resume the governance of the state without further delay. The people of Ondo State deserve effective leadership, not political vendettas.
“We reiterate our condemnation of the interference with constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and protest and the protracted governance crisis in Ondo State. The implications of these actions are severe, undermining the principles of democracy, and causing untold suffering to the people of Ondo State. The time for a resolution is long overdue, and we implore all parties involved to put the welfare of the state and its citizens first,” Olaseni added.