8th June 2023.
The Honourable Speaker,
Ondo State House of Assembly,
Dear Rt. Hon. Oladiji,
OPEN LETTER ON THE WORRISOME AUTOPILOT MODE OF GOVERNANCE IN ONDO STATE
I will like to congratulate you once again sir on your recent election as the Speaker of the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly. Ordinarily, you ought to have been given a few days to enjoy the deserved honeymoon of your speakership victory before being dragged into any matter of urgent importance in Ondo State. However, recent disturbing events have necessitated the need for this open letter.
I will like to make it clear that I have chosen to write this open letter to you in my twin capacities as a Social Media Influencer and as a youth Representative in Ondo State. It has been correctly observed that youths in Ondo State have become displeased with the auto-pilot mode of governance that seems to have been activated in the Sunshine State. The youths are indeed worried that no clear person seems to be in charge of the governance of Ondo State as of now and this is contrary to the provision of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The youths are however not unmindful that our hardworking Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu has been indisposed of late we truly feel concerned about this and we also wish him a speedy recovery. As a human and a workaholic person for that matter, it is not unusual for Governor Akeredolu to become indisposed and it is equally not unexpected of him to seek medical treatments and to also take out enough time to rest. The governor has done the right thing by taking a break from work in a bid to give deserved attention to his health. Meanwhile, the present mode and shape of governance in Ondo State has however become worrisome because the needful has been left undone as clearly demanded by the nation’s constitution.
It is equally becoming very glaring daily that the unavoidable absence of Governor Akeredolu from the state has been taking a deep toll on governance. It is most disturbing that we do not know who is actually in charge of governance in Ondo State as of today. There seem to be more questions bothering governance in Ondo State now than whatever answers anyone may throw up.
Disturbingly, Ondo State was conspicuously missing at the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting held at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday. One would have ordinarily expected the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa to represent his boss at the meeting. After all, two Governors were represented by their deputies at the meeting. The youths of Ondo State are sincerely concerned that our state should have been represented at the NGF meeting if the power had in line with the constitutional provision been transferred to the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The constitution is clear as it empowers Deputy Governors to stand in for the Governors whenever they are unavoidably absent from official duties for more than a certain number of days.
More so, Ondo State youths are also worried that any individual or even group of persons could find it very convenient now to hijack power in the state due to the obvious lacuna in governance. Another reason for every patriotic citizen of Ondo state to genuinely get worried is the fact that our state may once again be shortchanged in the allocation of ministerial slots. If the truth must be told, it is very much doubtable if a state that has been missing in action at the levels of National Executive Council and Nigerian Governors Forum meetings can ever get done the honour of a senior ministerial slot in absentia. After all, there is a saying that anyone that does not want to get shortchanged in the sharing of booties must be physically present to demand what is appropriate.
At this stage, it has now become pertinent for the Speaker of our dear state to help restore constitutionality to the seemingly cloudy and auto-driven firmament of governance in the Sunshine State. The Speaker is expected at this time to stand tall and identify strictly with constitutionality. The interest of our dear state must at this stage be raised far and above the interests of individuals.
The Speaker is also expected to throw light on the whereabouts of our governor and the true state of his health. This truth will go a long way to knowing the next line of constitutional action that will be required. It is equally expected that the timely intervention of Mr. Speaker will go a long way to save our dear Sunshine State from any form of constitutional crisis.
The Almighty God shall minister complete healing to our dear Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Oluyemi Fasipe (@YemieFash).