Resume or hand over to Aiyedatiwa, coalition writes Akeredolu

The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Democracy has called on Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to consider transferring power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, while he properly attends to his ailing health.

The request was made in an open letter written to the governor, which was also presented at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.

The relationship between Akeredolu and Ayedatiwa had become frosty after his return from Germany, where he went on medical vacation.

The crisis further degenerated in September following a move by the State House of Assembly to impeach the deputy governor over allegations of gross misconduct.

Relief, however, came the way of Aiyedatiwa on Monday when the national leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, summoned a meeting with some of the state elders to resolve the impasse.

The elders, who met at the Fasoranti’s residence in Akure, Ondo capital, expressed their displeasure over the lingering political crisis in the state, saying it had affected the development of the state.

However, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Democracy believes more needs to be done to ensure the people of Ondo access good governance after enduring the absence of the governor for too long.

Addressing journalists on Thursday, the convener of the group, Dr Tunji Asaolu, called on Akeredolu to immediately resume his responsibilities or ‘constitutionally’ transfer power to his deputy.

He said, “It has come to our attention that despite the governor’s return from overseas medical treatment, he has yet to resume his duties within the state for several weeks. Let it be on record that we, like many other good Nigerians, are praying fervently to God to fully restore Governor Akeredolu’s good health and show him mercy.

“We, however, think the governor’s protracted absence raises serious concerns about the functionality of governance, effective decision-making, and administrative efficiency in our beloved state. His prolonged absence creates a governance vacuum, thereby impeding the effective administration of Ondo State.

“Equally distressing is the apparent political interference by some persons not elected by the good people of Ondo State, preventing the deputy governor from fully discharging his constitutional duties in the absence of Governor Akeredolu. We condemn any attempt by political jobbers to sow discord between the governor and his deputy, as well as any endeavours to exploit the resulting power vacuum for personal gain.

“We urge Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to prioritise the needs of the people and to resume his responsibilities without further delay or transfer power to his deputy. Our state cannot afford to be without effective leadership, and we demand swift action to rectify this situation.”

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