Two commissioners on Thursday abstained from signing a vote of confidence passed on Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, by members of the cabinet.
The governor has been away from the state since he returned to the country from medical vacation abroad on September 7.
The document titled “WE STAND BY OUR COURAGEOUS PRINCIPAL AND MENTOR, ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU,SAN,CON. GOVERNOR, ONDO STATE,” was signed by 33 out of the 35 members of cabinet.
Those who signed were the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu; Chief of Staff, Olugbenga Ale; Head of Service, Kayode Ogundele 16 of the 18 commissioners, 11 special advisers and the governor’s son, Babajide Akeredolu who is the Director General, Performance & Project, Implementation and Monitoring Unit, (PPIMU).
The Commissioner for Energy, Mines & Mineral Resources, Engr. Razaq Obe and the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Samson
Akinwumi Sowore however declined signing the document.
When asked the reason for not appending their signature to the document, both men said they didn’t see the necessity for signing the document.
Obe in a chat with Premium Times, said that he didn’t see the document and couldn’t sign a document he didn’t see and didn’t have a knowledge of.
He said, “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 saw that I would have happily appended my signature.”
Sowore also added that the vote of confidence passed by the members of the cabinet in a state in a situation like this did not count.
“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 the government has to resign. So, by pushing a vote of confidence, as far as I’m concerned, it does not make sense. We don’t have power to remove the governor as members of the cabinet,” Mr Sowore said.
“So passing vote of confidence on 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 where 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 exco 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 am around I will not have signed because I am supposed to tell them what they are supposed to do, those that are not lawyers.
“No exco meeting has been held except during the period when the deputy governor was the acting governor. But since the governor resumed duty on 7th September 2023, no excos meeting had been held.”
Below is the full text of the vote of confidence letter by the cabinet members.
The vote of confidence signed by the cabinet members read, “In fulfilment of our dedicated responsibilities to advance the programs 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 fulfil 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 characterized by unwavering courage in leading the people of the Sunshine State towards prosperity and progress.
“As Mr. Governor’s foot soldiers, we take immense pride in being under his leadership Witnessing his dedication, sleepless nights, and commitment to protecting and serving the people of the state, despite numerous challenges in the past, is truly admirable. His leadership embodies compassion, vision, and commitment to development, progress, and peace
“In Ondo State today, we are reaping the benefits of Mr. Governor’s courage. The Amotekun corps, a product of Mr. Governor’s determination, has become a celebrated innovation in the security architecture of the state and the Southwest in general. Since security is the primary objective of any government, the existence of Amotekun is a testament to Governor Akeredolu’s visionary leadership.
“Popularly referred to as ‘Mr. Road’ or ‘Mr. Infrastructure,’ these appellations reflect the administration’s giant strides in infrastructural development. Since assuming office, Mr. Governor has demonstrated a clear passion and dedication to bridging infrastructural gaps in the state. Over the past six years, significant growth and progress in infrastructural development have been recorded, including the construction of two unprecedented flyovers.
“The first flyover, named ‘Redemption Bridge’ and located in Ore, was constructed by the Governor Akeredolu-led administration. The second, the first in the state capital, is underway at the Shagari/Onyearbulem junction in Akure. These infrastructure projects, termed ‘Dividend of good governance’ by Mr Governor, represent a substantial public good
“Under the leadership of our amiable Governor, the government has taken a significant leap in the health sector. The construction of 250-bed ultra-modern teaching hospitals in Akure and Ondo respectively has reached an appreciable level. Mr. Governor has made substantial strides in the health sector, with the University of Medical Sciences in Ondo benefiting from the administration’s commitment to its development.
“Having worked closely with the Governor, we commend his dedication to public service and achievements in infrastructure development, healthcare, education, and various sectors that have positively impacted the lives of Ondo State people. We take pride in sharing in these achievements and successes, acknowledging Mr. Governor’s visionary governance, commitment to development, and tireless efforts in improving the well-being of Ondo State citizens.
“Therefore, we unanimously declare our unflinching trust in Mr. Governor and endorse his impactful leadership. As a united front, we remain steadfast in our support for Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, and pledge to continue working collaboratively towards the advancement and prosperity of the state. We express our gratitude to Mr. Governor for his selfless service and courageous leadership.”
There has been reported crack in the state exco since Akeredolu travelled out of the country on medical vacation with the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, accused of plotting against the governor.
Upon Akeredolu’s return to Nigeria, the Ondo State House of Assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against Aiyedatiwa. The impeachment hhas however suffered setback as the Chief Judge as refused to set up a panel to try him.