THE Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy in Ondo state, Doyin Odebowale stated yesterday that the Ondo State Government officials had robbed locals of optimal governance during Rotimi Akeredolu’s three-month vacation.
“I can tell you for free, yes, when he was away, there was little of governance,” Odebowale said on Channels Television’s Politics Today, six days after the governor’s arrival in Nigeria from medical leave abroad, notably in Germany.
“People wanting to contest – yes, they want to be governor, they want to be this, they want to be that. It is within their right but they were distracting us and they were recruiting people.”
With Akeredolu’s second term expiring in around 17 months, a vote to select his successor is expected in the latter half of 2024.
Odebowale emphasized that the primary goal of governance is the welfare of the people, stressing that authorities must serve the people and push politics to the sidelines.
“The governor is not interested in these petty politics that people have reduced the whole state to in his absence,” he added.
The remarks follow speculation of a schism between Akeredolu and Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, following the governor’s disbandment of his deputy’s media team with the command that each member immediately submit government properties in their possession.
“Talking about their relationship, I know the governor and the deputy still met a few days ago. There’s no problem at all,” Odebowale said in reassurance.
The senior aide also dismissed analogies to Ondo State, where Governor Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu are widely said to be at odds after the deputy governor filed an impeachment petition against the governor.
Though the suit has now been dropped, Shaibu has moved his office away from the Government House quarters.
“I don’t want to believe that what is happening in Edo State is what we’re following,” Odebowale argued.
“No, we cannot follow Edo State. This is Ondo State. Ondo State will do what is right.”
Asked if Aiyedatiwa is in the running for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the special duties aide said, “He has not told me so; he has not told anybody so”.
“But because we are in this state, we know that certain members of this cabinet are contesting and some people who are outside too want to contest and that is legitimate,” he added.
Odebowale however requested that the ambitions of interested individuals in the state government not distract others.