Members of the Ondo State Executive Council on Thursday passed a vote of confidence in Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The two cabinet members, however, did not sign the statement expressing support for the governor, who is still in Ibadan Oyo State and recovering after returning from a medical vacation in Germany.
In a statement signed by 33 of the 35 members, Akeredolu’s advisers declared their unwavering trust in the governor.
The statement was titled “We support our courageous principal and mentor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON. Governor of Ondo State.
Notably, 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 Chief of Services, Mr. Kayode Ogundele and Special Advisers.
The statement reads in part: “In fulfillment of our committed responsibilities to support the programs and policies of the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration, embodied in the REDEEMED agenda, aimed at improving the lives of people and promoting development across the state, we proudly commend the People’s Governor for unprecedented progress under his leadership.
“As members of the State Executive Council, we have inherited the principles of good governance, integrity and commitment from the best – Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON. The courage and exemplary leadership that the Governor has consistently demonstrated continue to motivate and inspire us to fulfill our responsibilities.
“Without hesitation, Mr. Governor is a blessing to the good people of Ondo State. His leadership was rewarding and inspiring. 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 characterized by unwavering courage in leading the nation of the Sunshine State toward prosperity and progress.”
Cabinet members confirmed that the Akeredolu administration was performing well in a number of sectors including security, health care delivery, agriculture, roads and infrastructure, among others. They also stated that the Akeredolu administration has made a positive impact on the lives of the people of Ondo.
However, Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources Razak Obe and Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Cooperative Services Akin Sowore, who did not sign the document, said they were not transported with them.
In separate reactions, both commissioners said they were not on site when other cabinet members issued and signed the statement.
Obe said, “I am in Lagos and I am talking to you. I left Akure yesterday (Wednesday) to attend a conference and informed the Chief of Staff before leaving. So then they asked for my signature to be attached to the document, they called it a vote of confidence and I asked someone to share a copy with me so I would know before my signature was put on it.
“The person who contacted me to send an electronic signature said he didn’t have it, so someone is asking me to sign a document that I have no knowledge of at all. That’s why I didn’t send the signature. There was no executive meeting, nothing like that. That’s why I was careful when signing a document I didn’t know about. The document that I see now, which was issued, if I saw it, I would happily sign it.
Sowore, on his part, said he did not believe in signing any document to convey a vote of confidence to the governor.
– The thing is, I’m not in this state. The vote cast by members of the state’s cabinet does not count in such a situation because, first of all, we are the Governor’s nominees, we cannot even say that we do not trust him; anyone who does not trust the government must resign. Therefore, in my opinion, pushing for a vote of confidence makes no sense, we do not have the power to remove the governor from membership in the government.
“So, first of all, giving the governor a vote of confidence does not add anything to Mr. Governor. Therefore, the task of desperate politicians in the country is to create a crisis where there is none. I have no problems with the governor and he is our governor in the state. In fact, they don’t allow the man to rest in the first place. There has been no excos meeting, the governor is far away in Ibadan and the deputy is in a difficult situation far away in Abuja, so there is no one to chair the executive meeting in the state.
“Even if I’m around, I won’t sign because I have to tell them what to do; they are not lawyers. No excos meetings were held outside the term of office of the deputy governor. Since the governor resumed his duties on September 7, 2023, no excos meeting was held,” Sowore said.
Akeredolu is still recuperating at his private residence in Ibadan since returning to the country after a medical holiday. This provokes reactions from some quarters, especially the opposition People’s Democratic Party, which calls for the governor’s resignation.