Ondo State Conscience movement has described the statement made by one of the Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu aides that the governor can govern the state from anywhere as facetious claim.
The group in a release made available to newsmen by its Chairman, Mr Shalom Olaseni added that the statement challenged the principle of good governance and constitutional integrity.
According to him, we feel compelled to respond to the recent statements made by the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, through his legal representatives. These statements raise a significant concern regarding the Governor’s approach to governance, particularly in the context of his absence from office.
Olaseni said the statement was made in response to criticisms raised by our movement and other concerned citizens regarding Governor Akeredolu’s apparent abdication of his duties and his physical absence from the office. We must emphasize that this situation has had a significant impact on the effective functioning of our state.
Indeed, the governance of Ondo State continues to be adversely affected by Mr. Governor’s absence from office. As a result of his protracted medical hiatus abroad, vital decisions and actions that demanded his leadership and presence were dutifully undertaken successfully by the Deputy Governor, but his return and the transfer of power back to him has seen a stalement in leadership at the executive level of the state. This is regrettable and thus inexcusable.
Governor Akeredolu’s impressive professional background as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, and the Chief Executive Officer of Ondo State, should serve as a reminder that he has a duty to uphold the integrity of constitutional provisions and to ensure they are not misapplied to justify actions that appear to violate the principles of law and due process. It is our firm belief that it is constitutionally inappropriate to imply that the constitution condones extended absence from the office and permits a Governor to lead the state from virtually anywhere in the world or state.
The office and seat of the Governor, akin to the President, has a physical location designated for the coordination and administration of its functions and powers. To this end, various ministries and state departments are strategically situated close to the seat of power to facilitate the streamlined functioning of government. This proximity is essential for efficient governance. The continous absence of Mr. Governor who has clearly stripped his Deputy of representative or delegated authority will only further confound leadership matters in the state and set its course in disarray.
In light of these concerns, we strongly urge Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to promptly, presently and fully resume his duties in office. We believe that this is his responsibility to both himself and the people of Ondo State. Furthermore, should his health require further assessment or recuperation, we implore him to honourably transfer state power to his Deputy Governor to ensure the continuous and efficient administration of the state. It is our firm advice to the Governor to refrain from seeking statutory provisions that do not exist to justify his actions.
The Ondo State Conscience Movement remains committed to the principles of accountability, transparency, and good governance. We will continue to advocate for the welfare and best interests of the people of Ondo State, as we believe these values should be at the core of any responsible government.
Ondo State Conscience Movement(OCM)