*Says political jobbers exploiting vacuum for personal gains
A Coalition of Civil Society Organisation for Democracy (CCSOD) has expressed concern over the delay by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to resume office since his return from medical leave abroad.
The coalition, however, asked the Governor to resume or immediately transfer powers to his Deputy.
Addressing a press conference Thursday in Abuja, Chief Convener of the coalition, Dr Tunji John Asaolu, urged Governor Akeredolu to prioritize the needs of the people and to resume his responsibilities without further delay or transfer power to his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The rights group said Ondo state cannot afford to be without effective leadership, stressing the need for a swift action to rectify the situation.
They further condemned any attempts 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.
Asaolu said: “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.
“The intent of the framers of our Constitution in sections 189,190 and 191 is to avoid any kind of vacuum. And these sections explicitly emphasise the necessity to avoid a vacuum in leadership. The prolonged absence of the governor 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. The people know their Governor and his Deputy, not a group of cabal or individuals constituting into “cabal.”
“We remind all stakeholders that the constitution empowers the deputy governor to act in the governor’s absence. The political maneuvering preventing this is a violation of the very principles that underpin our democratic system. Ondo State deserves strong and unwavering leadership, especially in challenging times.
“Therefore, we call on all relevant authorities to urgently address this matter and ensure the seamless transition of governance to the Ondo Deputy Governor, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
“The people of Ondo state deserve transparent and accountable leadership, and we will not stand idly by while political machinations jeopardize the well-being of this noble and well respected state.”
According to the coalition, 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.”