Members of the Ondo State Executive Council, on Thursday, passed a vote of confidence in Governor Mr Rotimi Akeredolu.
However, two members of the cabinet failed to sign the statement to support the governor, who is still in Ibadan Oyo State, recuperating after returning from a medical vacation in Germany.
In the statement signed by 33 out of the 35 members, Akeredolu’s aides declared their unflinching trust in the governor.
The statement was titled ‘We stand by our courageous principal and mentor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON. Governor, Ondo State.’
Specifically, the statement made available to our correspondent was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Oladunni Odu, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Olugbenga Ale, commissioners, the Head of Service, Mr Kayode Ogundele, and special advisers.
The statement read in part, “In fulfillment of our dedicated responsibilities to advance the programmes and policies of the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration, encapsulated in the REDEEMED agenda, aimed at enhancing the lives of the people and fostering development across the state, we proudly commend the people’s governor for the unprecedented progress under his leadership.
“As members of the State Executive Council, we have imbibed the principles of good governance, integrity, and commitment from the very best – Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON. The courage and exemplary leadership consistently displayed by Mr. Governor continue to motivate and inspire us to fulfill our duties.
“Without hesitation, Mr. Governor is a blessing to the good people of Ondo State. His leadership has been rewarding and inspirational. Governor Akeredolu is not only a worthy leader but also a national asset who passionately pursues the welfare of the country. This patriotic leadership is characterised by unwavering courage in leading the people of the Sunshine State towards prosperity and progress.”
The cabinet members, affirmed that the Akeredolu administration had performed well in many sectors, including security, healthcare delivery, agriculture, road and infrastructures among others. They also declared that the Akeredolu administration had impacted positively on the lives of the people of Ondo.
But the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Razak Obe, and the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services, Mr Akin Sowore, who did not sign the document, claimed that they were not carried along.
In their separate reactions, the two commissioners said they were not in the state when other cabinet members issued and signed the statement.
Obe said, “I’m in Lagos as I speak to you. I left Akure yesterday (Wednesday) to attend a conference and I communicated that to the Chief of Staff before I left. So, later they were asking for my signature to be appended to a document, they called it vote of confidence and I asked that somebody share a copy with me so that I would know before my signature went on it.
“The person who reached me to send the electronic signature said he didn’t have it, so someone is asking me to drop my signature on a document that I don’t have knowledge about at all. So I did not send the signature. No executive meeting was held, nothing like that. So I was careful dropping my signature on a document that I didn’t know about. The document I’m seeing now that they put out if I see that I would have happily appended my signature.”
Sowore, on his own part, stated that he did not believe in signing any document to pass vote of confidence in the governor.
The point is that I’m not around in the state. The vote passed by the members of the cabinet in the state in a situation like this does not count, because in the first place we are the appointees of Mr. Governor, we can’t even say that we don’t have confidence in him; anybody that doesn’t have confidence in government has to resign. So by pushing vote of confidence as far as I’m concerned it does not make sense, we don’t have the power to remove the governor as members of the cabinet.
“So passing a vote of confidence in the governor in the first place does not add anything to Mr. Governor. So, it is the work of those desperate politicians in the state in order to create a crisis when there is no crisis. I don’t have any issues with the governor, and he is our governor in the state. In fact, in the first place, they don’t allow the man to rest. There was no excos meeting, the governor is far away in Ibadan and the deputy is embattled far away in Abuja, so nobody to chair the executive meeting in the state.
“Even if I’m around I will not have signed because I’m supposed to tell them what they are supposed to do; they are not lawyers. No excos meeting has been held except during the period the deputy governor was acting. Since the governor has resumed duty on 7th September 2023, no excos meeting had been held,” Sowore said.
Akeredolu is still recuperating in his private residence in Ibadan since he came back to the country after the medical vacation. This has been generating reactions in some quarters, particularly, the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, which has been calling for the resignation of the governor.