Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju has described as “handiwork of mischief makers”, the rumours making the rounds that the State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu is dead.
Ademola-Olateju stated this in a statement signed by her, while reacting to the rumour that went viral across the country on Saturday that Akeredolu had passed on, said the governor was very much alive.
The Commissioner who urged the people of the state and the country to ignore rumour about Akeredolu’s death said “We have been inundated with calls and messages concerning the state of health of the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON.
“We had chosen to ignore this wicked fabrication until it appeared that certain persons seek to draw political mileage from the disinformation.
“Though the Governor has been indisposed for sometime but he has been attending to state matters and delegating functions to functionaries of the Government, when necessary.
“We enjoin the members of the public to ignore the rumour. Aketi is very much alive”
Meanwhile, the Ondo state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the resignation of Akeredolu over his ill health, saying the state should not be grounded because of the governor’s health conditions.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Mr. Kennedy Peretei, who asked the ruling party and the state government to stop playing politics over Akeredolu’s health, asking the governor to resign if he is no longer fit to be governor.
Peretei challenged the state government and handlers of the governor to prove that Akeredolu is alive and shod stop taking people of the state for granted.
According to him, “Since Sahara Reporters reported that the governor is bedridden and incapacitated, Akeredolu’s handlers responded by fueling public anxiety and suspicion, instead of telling the State, where exactly he is, or getting him to address Ondo State, from wherever he is on planet earth.
“When Akeredolu did not return to his duty post after his celebrated annual leave in March this year, tongues started wagging. At the inauguration of President Bola Tinubu in Abuja, Akeredolu was conspicuously absent.
“The deafening silence from government information machinery suddenly saturated social media space with old videos of Akeredolu dancing and singing praises.
“On the eve of the inauguration of 10th Ondo State House of Assembly, there were reports of an ‘Owo cabal’ led by Akeredolu’s heir apparent, Babajide mobilising Members-elect to make a legislator from Owo Speaker, as a fall back position to retain the leadership of the state in Owo, in the event of the worst happening, after impeaching the incumbent Deputy Governor”
He said “These speculations almost put the state on edge until this morning when the Ondo State House of Assembly retained the present power structure of Speakership of the Assembly in Ondo Central Senatorial District.
“If Akeredolu’s handlers had done the needful, the state would have been spared the unnecessary anxiety.
“As mortals, any human being can fall sick. Whether in public office or private life. Rotimi Akeredolu is employed by the people of Ondo State, maintained with taxpayers’ money. So, it is criminal and a great disservice to keep mum over his health status and his whereabouts”
He, however, said “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State Chapter, demands that, those hiding the governor should tell the people where he is to save the state from speculation.
“In 2010, when then-President Umar Yar’Adua was incapacitated due to ill health, Akeredolu was one of the most vociferous voices, calling for his resignation and allowing the then Vice-President to take over.
” If for whatever reason, Akeredolu can no longer discharge his official responsibilities, the most reasonable thing to do is to hand over to the Deputy Governor as required by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“Our party joins millions of Ondo State people to pray for Akeredolu’s quick recovery, but nobody should play politics with his ill-health. Nobody should ground the state beyond its present state. Let Akeredolu resign, if he is no longer fit to be governor.”