The return of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to the country and his stay at his residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, has left tongue wagging from the stakeholders in the state.
Akeredolu returned to the country last Thursday from a medical vacation and has since been staying at his residence in Ibadan, a development that has left the state chapters of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, in a war of words.
According to The PUNCH, the PDP said the failure of the governor to return to the state was an indication that he was not fit to return to the country from the medical leave but hurriedly rushed down for fear of impeachment.
In a statement by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mrs. Kennedy Peretei, on Friday, the opposition party said, “The Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is still nowhere to be found, eight days since he claimed he had resumed duties as Governor after his three months medical leave in Germany.”
“Last week, we challenged the rationale for Akeredolu calling for a meeting in his Ibadan residence, instead of Ondo State where he was elected to govern. Up till this moment, the governor has not been seen anywhere near Ondo State.
“Akeredolu is beginning to fuel media speculations that, against the advice of his doctors, he was hurriedly brought into Nigeria to foil an impeachment process. He also ordered an upgrade of his Ibadan residence to include a replica of the executive council chambers, from where he intends to hold exco meetings.
Does Akeredolu want to make Ibadan the capital of Ondo State? What is the hurry to resume all about, if he cannot come to Ondo State?
“Would it not have made more sense if he was still attending to his health abroad? Why did he say he had resumed when indeed he had not? Our party wishes to advise Akeredolu to come to Ondo State to complete his tenure.”
But the APC said the PDP’s statement showed the opposition wanted the governor dead, urging the opposition to engage in constructive criticism rather than chasing shadow.
The APC in a reaction by its Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaiye, said the governor had been attending to state.
It said, “It is unbelievable that the PDP is having a grouse with the location of our Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. This is a clear indication that the opposition party never wanted Arakunrin back alive.
“The crux of the matter is that Mr Governor has been attending to state matters, since his arrival the way he ought to, irrespective of location. This is an indisputable reality. I sympathise with the PDP; it is a crisis-ridden political party that is bereft of ideas, and no longer coherent and constructive.” I didn’t resign my position, says dep gov
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on Friday denied signing a pre-resignation letter as being rumoured in some quarters.
The governor, who shortly after returning from medical vacation, signed into law, the bill for the creation of local council development areas in the state, expressed gratitude to residents for showing him love during the trying period.
The media aides of the embattled deputy governor had been relieved of their positions earlier in the week, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Richard Olatunde.
In a statement Aiyedatiwa issued on Friday, he said, “I took an oath the day I was sworn in along with Mr Governor on February 24, 2021, to protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on a four-year mandate which terminates on a four-year mandate which terminates on February 23, 2025, loyal to my principal and stand by the oath taken with the Bible to run the full cycle of the four-year tenure with Mr Governor.”