By: Oluwatosin Adesola
Amidst medical leave by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, a legal Practitioner, Chief Tolu Babaleye has called on the Ondo State Acting Governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa to be bold enough to provide good leadership for the State especially as it concerns participation of the state in the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The lawyer insisted that Aiyedatiwa must be very proactive in exeecising the powers of the Acting Governor.
Reacting to the recent political happenings in the state, Babaleye also advised the Acting Governor to convene State Executive Council and Security Council meetings to discuss and take far reaching decisions on economic and security situation in the state especially palliatives for the masses as a result of fuel subsidy removal and insecurity in Ose local government area.
The lawyer who is also a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), stressed the need for the state government officials, the House of Assembly and Party’s leadership to work together and be respectful to the chain of command to ensure effective governance under Aiyedatiwa.
Babaleye cautioned some Aides and Commissioners in Akeredolu’s Cabinet to exercise restraints or they would be dragged to anti-graft agencies EFCC and ICPC.
He said “As it is at the moment, it seems apparent that we are rudderless and seems as if we don’t have Leaders that can fill in the gap for the recuperating Governor in Ondo State at the moment and this is due to distrust, mistrust and working at cross purposes by those that should be in charge.
“The cabinet of Ondo State seems to be thinking that we are spectators
or audience in a cinema house in the absence of Arakunrin Akeredolu. They must have thought this State belongs to them alone as they may not be telling us the truth and the actual situation of things.
“The administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, its policies and politics has created a lot of challenges that desire a critical thinking and seriousness to navigate but unfortunate this is the time that the cabinet of Ondo State Government has chosen to dance nakedly in the open without a clear-cut sense of direction.
“The Acting Governor:- I hope His Excellency knows what it means to be acting in the full paraphernalia of the office of the governor and stop giving excuses. I dare asked the following questions:-
“How many times has the Acting Governor called the State Executive meeting to discuss the challenges of the economy of the State with the cabinet?
“Is it true that they have refused to even open the cabinet chambers for him or doesn’t it even occur to the Deputy Governor that he has the right to fire anybody that refused to honor such meetings or respect the chain of command and authority or dissolve the entire cabinet if he so wishes? (I am not calling for dissolution anyway).
“How many time has he called state security meeting, or has it not occurred to the Acting Governor that this is not the State of security in Ondo State when Aketi was so active and in charge? Herdsmen and Kidnappers are now gradually returning to Ondo State. The Acting Governor should act fast on our security in Ondo State and make Amotekun, the police, DSS, NSCDC, our Military and informal security through our Obas to be working optimally by releasing funds to them.
“We may have constructively oppose Arakunrin Akeredolu in the past, yet we love him and we want him to succeed and get well soon but if those holding sway for him refused to maintain decorum, then we will have no choice than to release all the facts we have to the public including engaging the services of the EFCC and ICPC at this time.
“We know a lot of files that are kept in the cupboards of the EFCC gathering dusts, we want to let you know some us don’t do threats, we work with facts and figures.
“If any of you sends your attack dogs, we will unveil and reveal their identities and reply you with petitions and publish the acknowledgments including using the courts to compel the anti graft bodies to complete their investigations on you people for failure to provide Leadership when it is needed most,” Babaleye said.
He said d further that, “Mr. Acting Governor sir, you still have more questions to answer:- The good people of Ondo State want to know what measures are put in place to nominate the minister and other appointees that will fit into the aspiration and yearning of the Ondo State and fill the space allocated to Ondo State in the Bola Tinubu regime in the absence of Governor Akeredolu. We also need to know those names.
“We are not happy that Ondo State was absent and not represented in some Federal functions and gatherings sometimes ago just because our Governor is temporarily indisposed.
“What are the measures you have put in place since the last 21 days that power was transmitted to you, to ameliorate the suffering of ondo State people since the removal of fuel subsidies as we have witnessed in some States like Kwara, Edo and Borno?
“Don’t you think it is time to look at school bus shuttle that are abandoned at the presmises of the ministry of transport with the aim of resuscitation or is it true that the buses have been taken away?
“Is it not time to look at the budget of Ondo State and re-model or re-order it to fit the current realities amidst subsidies removal and unified foreign exchange?
“How are you creating alternative palliatives for Ondo workers and the
common traders on the streets of Ondo State to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal pending a comprehensive arrangement from the Federal which may not come until early September?
“Without the above among many other functions of the State Governor; transmitting such power in the first place is needless.
“The in-fighting is affecting the fortune of Ondo State People. Let him and the Acting Governor work together at this critical time to move Ondo State forward and politics should be left for the right and ripe time.
“Aketi will be disappointed at the activities of his cabinet to say the least if he has the briefing of the ongoings at home. If in the coming days (the second transmission of power to the Deputy Governor starting from today since Aketi has not resumed) you guys didn’t call each other and present common and united Leadership, then we will let you guys know that Ondo State belongs to all of us and we are not afraid of you people as our Servants.
“It is important for the Acting Governor with the support of the team to demonstrate strong Leadership qualities during this time of uncertainty and not make the State rudderless.
“Furthermore, It is essential for the House of Assembly and key figures within the ruling political party on Ondo State and Abuja to be accessible and be actively involved in addressing the challenges faced by the State at this critical time.
“In times like this, it is important for politicians and government officials to set aside personal differences and focus on the well-being of the state, its citizens and residents.
“Cooperation, collaboration, and a commitment (3cs) to good governance are crucial for Ondo State to overcome its current challenges. I wish the ailing Governor of Ondo State quick recovery and early return to his duty post,” Babaleye said.