Government in Absentia

Government in Absentia
  • PublishedNovember 29, 2023
Blueprints with Oluwaseun Abosede
Blueprints with Oluwaseun Abosede

In the pursuit of power, fame, and wealth, man often becomes delusional, losing the core sense of self-identity that initially sharpens his life. In the pursuit of this vanity, he loses the happiness, success, love, grace, and goodness he already possessed. If truth must be said, the toll of sins and wrongs that wealth and power exact from man is immeasurably heavy. Invariably, he ends up hurting himself and his people, jeopardizing what he is hitherto known for, as he fails to comprehend the importance of “letting go of certain things.”

Like other mammals, human beings are prone to fall sick at any time. Day-to-day activities, including handling the business of government, could result in stress, a major component in a man’s life that sometimes leads to sickness. Based on facts and experience, the more stress a man undergoes, the more his health is undermined and susceptible to various interruptions. Hence, it is good to rest from time to time.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the Ondo State Governor, has been out of Ondo State for nearly six months, and it is still not clear when he will be back or the particular disease he is suffering from. What is clear, however, is that the more he worries about the state of things in government, the more prone he is to psychological trauma that could hinder his quick recovery. This is no rocket science.

His Excellency has spent three months abroad and an additional three months in Nigeria but outside the State where he was elected to govern – over six months altogether. What does the Constitution say in a situation like this? Writing from wherever he was when he got back to the country three months ago, he told the Ondo State House of Assembly that he has resumed work but chosen to stay as a guest of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State (emphasis mine). More worrisome is the excuse of his handlers who claimed that the Governor is more comfortable in Ibadan, his private home than the Government House located in Alagbaka, Akure. This is a second-term Governor. This has thrown Ondo State into needless political and constitutional crisis.

When a Governor has been out of the town for six months and his citizens are not sure of when he’ll be back, people are free to form opinions. Impeachment and counter-impeachment processes began to fly, as well as court processes here and there. In the end, this crisis dragged in the President, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, leaving people again with divided opinions as to whether the President did right to ignore constitutionalism for his own party’s political crisis management.

It is right and commendable for PBAT, as the Leader of APC, to wade in and stop this crisis caused by the inability of one man or that of a Cabal to do what is right. On the contrary, it underscores the very point that we are worried that Akeredolu is not medically well, and the doctrine of following constitutional provisions should prevail. But with the declaration of President Tinubu that Gov. Akeredolu remains the Governor, the question mark continues to get bolder, and what is politically good for APC might not be politically good for our country.

The greatest harm is coming from this self-inflicted battle. Let me end this piece with the words of the then NBA President, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu (the current Governor of Ondo State) while addressing the absence of then President Umaru Yar’Adua, who had taken ill and could not resume as president:

“The prayer of the association is that the President should recover fast, return to his office, and resign. No matter how much you love your country, it should not be at the detriment of your health. It is not your party or your wife that will decide whether you are capable of handling state matters; it is only your doctors that can decide that. The bar is not asking the president not to come back and take his seat, but the right thing must be done.”

Has anything changed now that could make Governor Akeredolu love Ondo State more than his own health? For how long will Gov. Akeredolu be patched in this manner? If he is not able to continue, the proper thing is to yield the advice he himself offered 11 years ago.

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not represent the opinions or views of Osun Defender.

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