The Ondo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has voiced strong disapproval of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu‘s choice to remain in Ibadan, Oyo State, upon his return from a three-month medical leave in Germany, rather than returning promptly to his home state.
In a press statement released on Friday, September 8th, 2023, the State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Mr. Kennedy Ikantu Peretei, reported that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has relocated the government and State Assembly to his residence in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
This decision follows the Governor’s three-month-long medical vacation abroad, during which various issues plagued Ondo State.
A part of the statement reads:
“Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Governor of Ondo State has continued in his usual lack of respect for the people of Ondo State by practically relocating his government and State Assembly to his residence in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
On 6th June, 2023 Akeredolu wrote to the Ondo State House of Assembly about his medical vacation abroad amidst rumours that he was incapacitated. A medical leave that has taken three clear months.”
On June 6th, 2023, Governor Akeredolu informed the Ondo State House of Assembly about his medical leave, which sparked rumors of his incapacity.
The opposition party, PDP, alleged that Governor’s wife, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, has effectively taken on the responsibilities of his media team. This assertion comes after she independently posted a picture of her husband aboard an aircraft with the caption “Homebound” on social media.
“Mrs Betty Akeredolu, the Governor’s wife shut down the social media by posting her husband’s photo in an aircraft with the caption “Homebound” yesterday. There was no official release from Akeredolu’s media handlers, a responsibility Betty has since assumed,” the statement reads.
According to the PDP, while the Governor was in Germany addressing his health concerns, Ondo State faced numerous challenges, including internal disputes and significant financial expenditures from the state treasury for medical purposes.
The Party said it had expected the Governor’s first priority upon returning to Nigeria to be a visit to Ondo State, where citizens had been fervently praying for his swift recovery and return to his official duties. However, to their dismay, Governor Akeredolu opted to go to Ibadan, instructing all State Cabinet members and State Assembly members to join him.
This decision has been met with heavy criticism from the opposition, labeling it as both absurd and an affront to the people of Ondo State.
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They call on Governor Akeredolu to officially notify the Assembly of his fitness to resume his duties, allowing for the conclusion of his remaining tenure, which has been met with limited tolerance.
As expressed by Kennedy Ikantu Peretei in the press statement, this development raises questions about the Governor’s commitment to the welfare and governance of Ondo State.
On a radio program in Ondo State on Friday, the news of the Governor’s return stirred a range of responses. Some residents expressed gratitude for his safe return, despite conflicting reports about his health. However, others criticized his decision to stay in Ibadan and questioned his choice to seek medical treatment abroad, suggesting that he should have directed resources towards improving the state’s healthcare sector instead. These critics alleged that state funds were utilized for his overseas medical treatment.
The news of Akeredolu’s return to the country was officially verified by various sources on Thursday. However, the confirmation that solidified this news came when his wife, Betty Akeredolu, shared an image of her husband aboard an airplane on her X, formerly Twitter page, along with the caption “Homebound.”
Back in June, Akeredolu had departed the country for Germany to address health issues he was facing. Subsequently, the state House of Assembly had extended his medical leave indefinitely. In compliance with the constitution, Akeredolu had transferred his authority to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, during his absence.
The Full Statement by the PDP reads;
AKEREDOLU RELOCATES GOVERNMENT TO IBADAN.
Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Governor of Ondo State has continued in his usual lack of respect for the people of Ondo State by practically relocating his government and State Assembly to his residence in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
On 6th June, 2023 Akeredolu wrote to the Ondo State House of Assembly about his medical vacation abroad amidst rumours that he was incapacitated. A medical leave that has taken three clear months.
Mrs Betty Akeredolu, the Governor’s wife shut down the social media by posting her husband’s photo in an aircraft with the caption “Homebound” yesterday. There was no official release from Akeredolu’s media handlers, a responsibility Betty has since assumed.
While Akeredolu was in Germany, attending to his health, Ondo State suffered multidimensional setbacks, from in fighting to huge sums of money siphoned from the state treasury as medical expenses.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State Chapter expected that, now that the Governor is back in Nigeria, his first point of call should have been Ondo State, where everybody prayed for his quick recovery and return to his duties.
Instead, he headed for Ibadan and instructed all State Cabinet members and State Assembly men to join him.
This is very absurd and an insult on the sensibility of Ondo State people. If Akeredolu has been certified fit to resume duties, let him notify the Assembly accordingly to conclude the remainder of his tenure for which he has been barely tolerated.
Kennedy Ikantu Peretei.
State Publicity Secretary, PDP Ondo State.