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June 22, 2024
Community News

“No Cabals in Ondo Govt, Count Aragbaiye Out of Your Bitter Politics”

ONDO: WHEN LOYALTY BECOMES A BURDEN

Loyalty has remained a prominent term and a valuable virtue in various sociopolitical and economic contexts. Disloyalty, on the other hand, has been associated with divisions within political and business establishments. Across the globe, exceptional leaders have often been associated with unwavering loyalty to a cause or organization they believe in. It is this profound sense of dedication, commitment, and willingness to make sacrifices that has consistently played a pivotal role in their achievements.

Loyalty and disloyalty have seasons of test when the chaffs are separated from the grains. When such wind of trials blow, pretenders are separated from the diehard.Nature itself presents opportune moments to assess our commitment to a particular cause.

The current situation in our beloved Ondo state demands a thoughtful interrogation that goes beyond political biases or patronage. It is essential to thoroughly analyze the facts and rumors available in the public domain. The recent medical leave embarked upon by Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN,CON has revealed significant political issues within the Government.

As responsible citizens of the Sunshine State, we owe it a duty to protect the dignity of our State and resist crisis entrepreneurs and mere opportunists to turn our place of pride to a war zone. All over the world, the people of Ondo State are known for sterling character, courage and integrity. Any attempt to misrepresent our collective pride will be met with stiff opposition.

No doubt, it is glaring that the absence of the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON has revealed the deep rooted politcal and administrative divisions in the government. Since the Governor embarked on medical vacation, there have been an array of issues and conflicts in the Government. It is important for us to critically evaluate the various narratives in the public domain so as not to join the bad wagon.

At the centre of this controversy are the Deputy Governor, who is now acting Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Commissioner for Finance; Wale Akinterinwa and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters and Special Duties, Dare Aragbaiye. There have been protracted narratives from various sources about the happenings inside the Alagbaka Governor’s office. The claims by the opportunists and loyalist of the Acting Governor, among others include;

  1. That Aragbaiye and few others have constituted themselves as cabals in the Government
  2. That Aragbaiye is preventing Aiyedatiwa to function effectively as acting Governor
  3. That Aragbaiye and the Commissioner for Finance refused to release fund for the deputy governor to perform his duties
  4. That Lucky Aiyedatiwa has not been able to summon a State Executive Council meeting since he took over as acting Governor
  5. That nothing is moving in the State including security.

The above claims were drawn from the various social media interventions suspected to have been inspired and sponsored by Aiyedatiwa. The recent one written by known crisis entrepreneur and charge and bail lawyer, Tolu Babaleye was screaming Aiyedatiwa in both content and structure. Babaleye is a spent force who desires to make a fortune from Aiyedatiwa’s political desperation. Since the Law practise has not fetched him good fortune , he is at Liberty to milk a desperate political player.

  1. The claim that Aragbaiye and few others have constituted themselves as cabals in the Government is not substantiated with facts. Those who are familiar with the case of cabals in Governments would understand that there are no cabals in the Ondo State Government. The question we should ask ourselves is that what informed the recent hostility in the Government. Since 2021, Governor Akeredolu has been embarking on yearly vacations. Each time, he would transfer power to Aiyedatiwa in acting capacity. All these times, we didn’t hear about these cabals in Government. What has now changed ? Why the sudden rise of cabals in Government? What exactly are these people doing that have made them cabals? Is this the first time that Aiyedatiwa will be Acting Governor?
  2. The narrative that Aragbaiye is preventing Aiyedatiwa to function effectively as the ActingGovernor is laughable and ridiculous. How can a Special Adviser prevent a Deputy Governor from functioning as acting Governor? Has Aragbaiye grounded the Deputy Governor’s office? Has the deputy governor issued any directive to any cabinet member and Aragbaiye asked them to disobey? We have seen the acting Governor attending events and performing the functions of the Governor including receiving important state guest in courtesy visit. One would wonder how Aragbaiye is preventing the acting governor from performing effectively. It should be noted that Aiyedatiwa and his cohorts have failed to expatiate on this claim.
  3. The claim that Aragbaiye and the Commissioner for Finance refused to release money for the Deputy Governor to perform his duties is preposterous. The absurdity in this claim smells a suspicious twist to the issue on ground. We know that the office of the Deputy Governor is established to function effectively in the governor’s absence. There are budgetary provisions for travelling allowances, gifts, meals, and other expenses for the deputy governor’s office. Is the deputy governor’s office starved of fund? Is Aragbaiye responsible for the disbursement of funds to the Deputy governor’s office? We should ask Aiyedatiwa if he has requested fund from Finance following due process and has been rejected. He should be able to show evidence of such letter of request.
  4. Executive council meetings are summoned by the Governor to discuss serious matters affecting Government and the good people of the State and not for jamboree or funfair. Those who claimed that Lucky Aiyedatiwa hasn’t been able to summon a State Executive council meeting since he took over as acting Governor are pathological liars. They are spinning these false narrative to paint some people bad and label them as stumbling block. It is evident that on the 19th of June, Aiyedatiwa summoned a State Executive Council meeting which was well attended by Cabinet members. Has he summoned another one since then and it wasn’t honored? He should let us know.
  5. The lie being told by Aiyedatiwa’s apologists that nothing is moving in the state including security is a slap on the Acting Governor. He must be unaware of the various operations of the Amotekun corps. Except he is also insinuating that the Amotekun commander who doubles as Special Adviser to the Governor on Security is also part of the cabals in Government.

Numerous questions are begging for answers from Aiyedatiwa.

Why is he only interested in the affairs of Government House and Protocol Dept?

Perhaps, we should ask Aiyedatiwa why he is not disclosing what is happening at the Local Government Level(JAAC) under his watch where monies are shared indiscriminately. He should let the people of the State know how much he takes from JAAC on a monthly basis.

Why is he not interested in even looking at measures to ameliorate the suffering of the people of Ondo State due to the removal of fuel subsidy. I’m sure that the good people of Ondo State are missing their Governor.

Aiyedatiwa should explain why he derives joy in spending allowances of his personal Aides. He should desist from collecting allowances meant for his staff.

What has he done since power was transmitted to him other than sponsoring personal attacks on persons perceived to be loyal to Gov Akeredolu.

It is evident that the acting governor and his hirelings are not bold enough to state the main reason for their unabated attacks on Aragbaiye. A man who has made good name for himself. Dare Aragbaiye, a quintessential Public Administrator who has in his career as a Civil Servant, served as Private Secretary to two(2)succesive Military Governors of Ondo State, Colonel later Brigadier Ekundayo Opaleye and Navy Captain, later Commandore Olabode George. He also served as Chief Protocol Officer to the former Deputy Governor, Lt. Dr Olusegun Agagu and later as Personal Assistant to former Military Governor, Colonel Moses Fasanya. He was thereafter appointed as Permanent Secretary by Governor Olusegun Mimiko in year 2012 and was appointed Head of Service in year 2019 by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN,CON. In all these various positions, Aragbaiye’s loyalty to his bosses are absolute. While he also served under Governor Akeredolu, he has earned the trust and confidence of the Governor. That is what Aiyedatiwa and his cohort want him to betray. But those who know Aragbaiye know that he is dedicated, firm, loyal, fearless, commited and trustworthy. I know that he will not be cowed into allowing corruption and abuse of public office.

The acting governor and his own “cabals” have failed to provide evidence of any significant changes in Dare Aragbaiye’s conduct since the Governor went on medical leave. What has he done differently that he wasn’t doing when the Governor was around? Aiyedatiwa’s supporters should delve deeper and present a more realistic narrative. If Aragbaiye’s role in the Government has indeed changed during the governor’s absence, they should inform us. It’s not enough to pick on him as a convenient scapegoat. You cannot make him forfeit his loyalty to the Governor.

People like Tolu Babaleye and other recruits of Aiyedatiwa want us to believe that their paymaster is the victim in this recent released story on the Social media. However, they seem to forget that we live in an ecosystem where information spreads rapidly. Apart from their fabricated lies and mischievous tactics, it is widely known that Aiyedatiwa has become disloyal. His wish is for the Governor not to return, a plan that will surely fail. As acting Governor, his relentless attacks on Aragbaiye and the Finance Commissioner, Wale Akinterinwa, stem from his desire for unrestricted access to the state treasury without following due process.

The claim that Aiyedatiwa is being deprived of funds and unable to attend functions outside the state due to this reason is baseless and unintelligent. The roles played by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Gbenga Ale, are evident. He is actively supporting the Deputy Governor and encouraging him to confront those close to the Governor. To the Chief of Staff, Aragbaiye is considered a sworn enemy due to his refusal to allow them to misuse Government resources. The Chief of Staff holds grievances because the Governor did not trust him to assign to him sensitive roles and responsibilities.

Succesive Governors have their own approach to internal administration. The operational runnings of Government House and Protocol is at the discretion of the Governor. Gbenga Ale, known for greed and sharp practices has been nursing a deep seated hatred towards Aragbaiye because the Governor didn’t allow him to be incharge of Government House and Protocol. Let me say, that during Governor Mimiko’s regime, Pastor Gbadebo was DFA for 3 years before he became the PS of Government House and Protocol. As DFA, he was reporting directly to Governor Mimiko on affairs of Government House and Protocol not through the then Chief of Staff. That was Mimiko’s discretion.

One thing is clear, the people of the State must understand that Aragbaiye is only carrying the burden of loyalty. Aiyedatiwa and his allies are questioning his loyalty to the Governor. The attacks on Aragbaiye directly undermine the Governor. The deputy governor’s desperation has created a significant divide within the Government. It is essential for him to cease the noise about reshuffling the cabinet. And if he so desire to reshuffle the Cabinet and appoint his cronies, he should go ahead. Numerous lies have been spread, particularly on social media. The acting Governor should refrain from spreading falsehoods and should be able to state the facts and face the reality.

Signed:
Concerned Stakeholders (Senior Workers) in the Public Service of Ondo State.

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