The Ondo State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters have given Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu a 72-hour ultimatum to transmit power to his deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa or face dire consequences.
The groups, under the aegis of the PDP Forever Initiative, threatened to occupy the Governor’s office should Akeredolu fail to heed the 72-hour ultimatum.
The National Coordinator of the groups, Hon. Obande Gideon Obande, who addressed journalists in Abuja, expressed worries that President Bola Tinubu and the National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to address the lingering constitutional issue.
Disturbed over what they called a leadership vacuum created by the absence of Aketredolu in office, the groups asked that Akeredolu’s deputy be fully empowered to run the affairs of governance.
While the PDP groups said it will continue to pray for Akeredolu’s quick recovery because he is human, they added that his incapacitation should not affect governance, as there is a provision for a deputy who shall discharge his duties in an acting capacity as empowered by the law.
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He said, “We hereby call on Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to resume within 72 hours or hand over power to his Deputy for effective management of Ondo State.
“We make bold to say that, if the Governor fails to resume or hand over power to his Deputy within 72hours, we will have no option than to occupy Ondo State Government House to press home our demand.”
He added, “The All Progressives Congress, APC, is yet to provide the kind of leadership expected of it by Nigerians. The worst of it is the political vacuum in Ondo State which the APC leadership used in showcasing its ineptitude towards governance in the country.
“During our (PDP’s) reign in power, former President Umar Musa Yar’Adua was sick and could not transmit power to the Vice President before leaving the country, our party invoked the powers of the constitution and empowered the Vice President as the Acting President.
“It also happened in Taraba State when the late Gov Danbaba Suntai had an air crash, we resolved the crisis but the ruling APC has failed woefully in managing the political crisis in Ondo State. This is a sign that the APC Federal government is insensitive to the plights of Nigerians
“What is so difficult to call the State Assembly to order and ensure a smooth working relationship between the Deputy Governor and the sick Governor’s family?
“We believe that because the crisis is in Yoruba land, the APC has abandoned the constitution to serve some personal interests, thereby abandoning Nigerians to their faith.
“Let it be known that this country belongs to all of us, whether PDP or APC even Labour Party, as such, we can not fold our arms and watch the Nation sink.
“Once upon a time, our party, the Peoples Democratic Party attempted to protest against the leadership vacuum in Ondo State but the security agencies prevented us. We are not giving up, we are resilient in propagating good governance at all times.
“It has become ridiculous and indeed a laughing stock the activities of non-state actors who display their overbearing influence on the management of affairs of Ondo State in view of their relationship with the ailing Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“The same people who are close to the Governor, mostly his family members, who believe that the mandate given to Governor Akeredolu is a retirement benefit to the entire family are responsible for the ugly situation in the State.
“The Governor has been around in the country, but obviously not fit enough to manage the affairs of the State.
“The question is, since the Deputy Governor is not allowed to act, and the Governor has refused to resume, who is administering the State at the moment?
Hon Obande Gideon explained that it is not strange for a PDP group to make such a demand because “the issue at hand is not a party affair, but people’s affair since the governor was voted by the people.
“His absence is hindering the smooth running of state affairs. He should as the constitution demands, transmit power to the Deputy Governor until he is fit to continue in office.
“We are not doubting his performance, we are not saying he is not he is not fit to be in office, we are concerned about his state of health, we are saying he is not constitutionally alright to continue in office”, he stated.