The Ondo state executive council members have passed a vote of confidence in Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor.
The development comes amid protest by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, demanding that the governor return to the state or resign his position.
Akeredolu has been working from Ibadan, Oyo capital, since he returned to Nigeria after a three-month medical leave in Germany.
In a statement jointly signed by the executive council and other political appointees, the exco described Akeredolu as a blessing to Ondo, adding that his leadership had been “rewarding and inspirational.”
However, out of the 35 cabinet members, Razak Obe, commissioner of energy and mineral resources, and Samson Sowore, commissioner for commerce industry, did not append their signatures beside their names.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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.”
The executive council added that different sectors in the state have grown significantly under the leadership of Akeredolu.
“Since assuming office, Mr. Governor has demonstrated a clear passion and dedication to bridging infrastructural gaps in the state,” the exco said.
“Over the past six years, significant growth and progress in infrastructural development have been recorded, including the construction of two unprecedented flyovers.
“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.”
‘NO EXCO MEETING HAS BEEN HELD SINCE AKEREDOLU’S RETURN’
When contacted to speak on why he refused to append his signature, Sowore said the move was the work of desperate politicians in the state who wanted to create crisis.
“The vote passed by the members of the cabinet in the state in a situation like this does not count, because in the first place, we are the appointees of Mr. Governor,” he said.
“We can’t even say that we don’t have confidence in him. Anybody that doesn’t have confidence in history government have to resign, so by pushing 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.
“So, it is the work of those desperate politicians in the state in order to create crisis when there is no crisis.
“I don’t have any issues with the governor, and he is our governor in the state. 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’m around I will not have signed. No excos meeting had been held since Akeredolu’s return, except when Aiyedatiwa was acting as deputy governor.”
On his part, Obe said he was out of town and was wary of appending his signature on a document he knew nothing about.
“I’m in Lagos as I speak to you, I left Akure yesterday to attend a conference and I communicated that to the chief of staff before I left.
“So, later they were asking for my signature to be appended on a document, they called it vote of confidence and I asked if anyone shared a copy with me so that I will know the content before appending my signature.
“No executive meeting was held, nothing like that. So, I was careful dropping my signature on a document that I didn’t know anything about.” [TheCable]