A group under the aegis of the Ondo Liberation Initiative on Wednesday gave the Ondo state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu seven-day ultimatum for him to return to Ondo state or face litigation over his alleged failure to take over governance in Akure where his government resides.
The ultimatum, according to the group, started on Thursday, November 2nd.
Akeredolu had commenced medical leave in June and was extended indefinitely by the state House of Assembly.
He later returned in September from Germany where he traveled for medical treatment and had since been in his residence in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
Though, Akeredolu had been reportedly attending to issues of governance and receiving guests, the Ondo Liberation Initiative, OLI, said he had overstayed in Ibadan and it was high time for him to return where he was voted for as the governor.
Addressing newsmen in Akure the Ondo state capital, the spokesman of the group and an APC chieftain, Alabi Johnson said, “Ondo Liberation Initiative would continue to talk very loudly to reject failures and wrong policies of government in Ondo State, because the people never voted for a governor that would not have Ondo State as a comfortable place to live.
“We never voted for a Governor in diaspora. According to Section 178 (4) of the Constitution, Ondo State is our only constituency and not Oyo State, and our Governor must live with us.
“Those benefitting illegally from the absence of the Governor are those claiming that governor can rule from anywhere which is against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“From the foregoing, the Ondo State Liberation Initiative hereby issues a 7-day ultimatum to the Governor to return to Ondo State and speak to the people of the state or else our group with others shall not hesitate to proceed to seek for the Court’s interpretation of Section 193(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on this matter.”
Alabi also berated the commissioner for information and orientation Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju for misleading the world on a national television over governance in ondo state, describing her action as incompetent.
He said, “Following the recent interview granted by Mrs. Bamidele Ademola- Olateju, Commissioner of Information in Ondo State on Arise TV, our group, Ondo Liberation Initiative (OLI), has deemed it expedient and necessary to make the record straight and educate the public, especially, when it has become obvious to all and sundry that those currently handling the affairs of the state are bereft of political and legal ideas and deliberately chosen the path of misleading the good people of Ondo state.
“Having listened to their defence serially, it is now evidently clear that majority of them piloting the affairs of governance in Ondo State lack elementary knowledge of good governance. If not Olateju would not have been speaking rudely that the President has no power to rescue the Governor, forgetting that the President, apart from being the foremost leader of the ruling Party, APC, he also doubles as the General Overseer of the National Executive Council, NEC.
“Even in the opposition Party, the President intervenes and the people respect his position unlike ours in Ondo State where the Speaker is disrespecting the decision of the NWC to embrace settlement.
“The Commissioner for Information in Ondo State goofed when she said there is no vacuum in government of Ondo State, when the provision of Section 193 (2) of the Nigeria Constitution has been violated by the Governor. The section stipulates that the Governor SHALL hold regular meetings with his deputy to:
(i).Determine the general direction of the policies of the government of the state.
(ii).Coordinate the activities of the government in the discharge of their executive responsibilities.
(iii).And except as otherwise expressly stated in the constitution, the governor has no legal right to seek advice from any other person other than his deputy.
“The question is, how better can a leadership seat be in vacuum when some cabals have caged the Governor and also disallowed his deputy from having access to him? No wonder the Ministry of Information under her leadership has long gone into extinction.
“It is no longer news that since the supposed resumption of the governor, there has not been any state EXCO’s meeting for the past two months, and there has not been any representation of Ondo State at the National Executive Council Meeting in Abuja. Ondo State was conspicuously missing from the National Police Council meeting held on the 31st October, 2023 in Abuja.
“By the provisions of Section 14 of the Nigeria Constitution, “Sovereignty belongs to the people, and their security and welfare ‘shall’ be the primary purpose of government”.
“It is appalling, disgusting and unreasonable for anyone to seat on a national/international television station like the Arise TV and sufficiently abuse the sensibility of the good people of Ondo State by arguing that we cannot demand good governance for Ondo State as bonafide citizens and electorates, when the constitution expressly made it mandatory that our participation in ‘our’ government shall be ensured.
“Mrs. Ademola-Olateju, however, mentioned during her interview that Mr. Governor is recuperating in Ibadan even when the Governor earlier told us that he is now fit for resumption and that he has resumed office.
“Who is deceiving who? We view this act of Mr. Governor as Gross Misconduct for lying to the people of the state that he had resumed office when in actual fact has not stepped into Akure or any town in Ondo State since then.
“He wrote to the State House of Assembly on a letter headed paper bearing Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State. That is a lie and gross misconduct. The position of the Governor is not privately owned as his handlers think, but a public office with constitutional guidelines.
“Ondo State people deserve to know the health status of Mr. Governor whose medical bills are on the tax payers of the people living in the state.
“Mrs. Ademola-Olateju said, ‘work is going on in the state, commissioners are on ground and things are normal’.
The ‘commissioners’ she claimed to be ‘on ground’ are the same set of people who have been severally alleged of diverting palliatives meant for the vulnerable people of Ondo state.
“Even the Chief Law Officer of the state (the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice) was accused of diverting over 500 bags of rice meant to be distributed to people of Akure.
“Another was Commissioner for Women Affairs who was alleged to have been beaten for diverting palliatives meant for a local community in Akoko; as if that was not enough, the social media was again awashed with the news of the re-bagged and repackaged bags of rice bearing the campaign pictures of the sitting Commissioner for finance, the said rice was suspected to be part of the booties from the diverted palliatives (all these went viral on the social media), yet the commissioner for information said ‘the commissioners are working’.
“Maybe we should ask her, whose interest are the commissioners really working for or were they appointed to syphon and customize the resources of the Ondo State for their personal use?
“We believe the good people of Ondo State deserve some explanations to what has become of our Ministries e.g Health, Commerce and Industry, Agriculture, Environment and other agencies of government? At a point in this country, Ondo State was ranked the second cleanest state, and instead for the current government (which Mrs. Ademola-Olateju speaks for) to build on that legacy, refuse and dunghills now occupy our streets.
“Mrs. Ademola-Olateju failed to tell the whole world in a clear language the gains recorded by each ministry under this administration? Except for the few ministries and government departments headed by Owo people, (Governor’s kinsmen), she should tell us any other ministry or government department that is well funded or even funded at all by the Aketi-led administration.
“The Arise News Channel interview exposed the commissioner’s naivety and it is deeply saddening that such a person was the type that is in charge of a ‘whole’ Ministry of Information, no wonder the controversial Doyin Odebowale claimed that he is more knowledgeable than all of the cabinet members put together.
“Furthermore, the commissioner for information who stated the position of the State government (though not of the people of Ondo State) on the impeachment saga has shown that she is not educated enough (which is quite sad) to know that the Constitution of the country made it abundantly clear, the type of the notice of allegation that the Governor/Deputy Governor is expected to respond to, if only he chooses to so respond. For the avoidance of doubt, the commissioner for information should avail herself with the provisions of Section 188 (1) (b) of the constitution which says ‘that the PARTICULARS of the allegation must be stated’.
“The embarrassment by the Ondo State Speaker to the office of the Ondo Chief Judge by writing and expecting him to set up a panel to investigate an invalid notice of allegation should be stopped henceforth.
“The damage Aketi-led administration caused for Ondo Judiciary is still fresh in the memory of the people. Aketi humiliated the Judiciary by demolishing their properties of over 20 courtrooms which were built through the hard labour of the Judiciary with the support of the ex-governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
“The unwholesome conditions in which the Judges and Magistrates in the State are working is very pitiable. The remaining court rooms are fast becoming an eye-sore.”