Get Your House Together: Tolu Babaleye Advice Ondo State Government Officials in the Absence of Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu

Get Your House Together: Tolu Babaleye Advice Ondo State Government Officials in the Absence of Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu

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Get Your House Together: Tolu Babaleye Advice Ondo State Government Officials in the Absence of Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu



By Tolu Babaleye


Based on calls, SMS, and direct messages from Ondo State People that I should say something about what is going on in our State, having studied the situation and observing the scenario, and after reading the press statement of the State Commissioner for Information and the views of some Leaders and listening to their views over the radio and Television on the state of the current challenges posed by the absence of our loving Governor, I wish to state as follows:

It is unfortunate that the present situation has befallen our dear Ondo State, which is our place of pride.


As it is at the moment, it seems apparent that we are rudderless and seems as if we don’t have Leaders that can fill in the gap for the recuperating Governor in Ondo State at the moment, and this is due to distrust, mistrust, and working at cross purposes by those that should be in charge.


The cabinet of Ondo State seems to be thinking that we are spectators or audience in a cinema house in the absence of Arakunrin Akeredolu. They must have thought this State belongs to them alone, as they may not be telling us the truth and the actual situation of things. For instance, the press release of yesterday did not say anything tangible that could be held on to.


The administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, its policies, and politics have created a lot of challenges that require critical thinking and seriousness to navigate, but it is unfortunate that this is the time that the cabinet of the Ondo State Government has chosen to dance nakedly in the open without a clear-cut sense of direction.


The Acting Governor:

I hope His Excellency knows what it means to be acting in the full paraphernalia of the office of the governor and stops making excuses. I dare ask the following questions:


1. How many times has the Acting Governor called the State Executive Meeting to discuss the challenges of the state’s economy with the cabinet?


2. Is it true that they have refused to even open the cabinet chambers for him, or doesn’t it even occur to the Deputy Governor that he has the right to fire anybody who refuses to honour such meetings, respect the chain of command and authority, or dissolve the entire cabinet if he so wishes? (I am not calling for dissolution anyway.)


3. How many times has he called a state security meeting, or has it not occurred to the Acting Governor that this is not the State of security in Ondo State when Aketi was so active and in charge? Herdsmen and Kidnappers are now gradually returning to Ondo State. The Kidnapping of Hon. Bola Adelegbe, a former Chairman of Ose LG and the immediate junior brother to Hon. Timehin Adelegbe representing Ose/Owo Federal Constituency, who is yet to be released till date, is a serious dent in the security architecture and safety of the people of Ondo State.


The Acting Governor should act fast on our security in Ondo State and make Amotekun, the police, DSS, NSCDC, our military, and informal security through our Obas to be working optimally by releasing funds to them.


4. Is the Acting Governor afraid that maybe if he calls those in charge of security, they will not answer him or what?


I sensed in my spirit that maybe the Acting Governor wants all Ondo State citizens to matchthe government house at Alagbaka to beat up some people for him and/or have sympathy for him on a job he campaigned and begged for. His Excellency should not allow the Yoruba adage “Won fie joye awodi, oole gbe Adie” to be his portion. The door has already been opened before His Excellency, and yet he is still knocking for it to be opened. Let him provide Leadership now!


Mr. Acting Governor, sir, you still have more questions to answer:
1. The good people of Ondo State want to know what measures are put in place to nominate the minister and other appointees that will fit into the aspiration and yearning of Ondo State and fill the space allocated to Ondo State in the Bola Tinubu regime in the absence of Governor Akeredolu. We also need to know those names.


We are not happy that Ondo State was absent and not represented at some Federal functions and gatherings recently just because our Governor is temporarily indisposed.


2. What are the measures you have put in place since the last 21 days that power was transmitted to you to ameliorate the suffering of the people of Ondo State since the removal of fuel subsidies, as we have witnessed in some States like Kwara, Edo, and Borno?


3. Don’t you think it is time to look at the school bus shuttles that are abandoned at the premises of the ministry of transport with the aim of resuscitation, or is it true that the buses have been taken away?


3. Is it not time to look at the budget of Ondo State and re-model or re-order it to fit the current realities amidst subsidy removal and unified foreign exchange?


4. How are you creating alternative palliatives for ondo workers and the common traders on the streets of Ondo State to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal pending a comprehensive arrangement from the Federal Government, which may not come until early September?


Without the above, among many other functions of the State Governor, transmitting such power in the first place is needless. Take a cue from former Vice President Oshinbajo, who made a difference during the little time that power was transmitted to him by former President Buhari until the cabal made sure nothing was further transmitted to him.


We, the people of Ondo State, are also hearing and have now become aware of the activities of some self-dignified and self-acclaimed “CABALS”
who are making the work of the government look so difficult, like it is rocket science or nuclear physics, messy, and also funny, but pretending to be holding sway and loyal to the government, People of Ondo State at this time, but whose main aim is protecting the “loots” they have gathered (apologies to Betty Akeredolu) and thereby undermining the office of the Governor, which is now being occupied in an acting capacity by Mr. Lucky Ayedatiwa.

The Ondo State First Lady, Mrs. Bettey Akeredolu, mentioned sometime ago that Hon. Bunmi Ademosun should go and enjoy her loot in a viral audio outburst (the content that will still be sent to the EFCC and ICPC to analyse and investigate) but didn’t mention Mr. Dare Aragbaye (Special Adviser on Union Matters), whose name is being dropped everywhere on both regular and social media and who is said to be the “de facto” PS, Government House, and Protocol since almost 5 years now, when the current Kabiyesi Olowo of Owo left the position and is still signing off files even when he is no longer a civil servant but a political appointee. He was said to have put himself there and stopped the HOS from posting anybody there from the civil service because he is the Godfather of the so-called HOS.


The HOS should have advised Arakunrin Akeredolu correctly on the need to appoint a new and substantive PS into that position which is an all important one when Olowo left and not to be superintendent by a retired PS and HOS, Mr. Dare Aragbaye who has suddenly become so powerful that he is now said to be assigning task to the Acting Governor instead of the other way round and was said to have refused to show the Acting Governor and submit to him the expenditure files of Government House and Protocol to prevent the Acting Governor’s Office to function effectively or probably know how much is going into running of Government house in the absence of Head of the Farm (Olori Oko) who is in a German Hospital recuperating. This shenanigan was said to have stopped the Acting Governor from flying to attend many State functions where the attendance of Ondo State is needed and ought to be represented.


From our investigation, the same man in question, who is fondly called the Chairman, is said to be the Approving Officer at the moment and has orchestrated many failed “palace coups,” from making an Owo person a Speaker when the Governor is still an Owo person to making the Acting Governor less effective. He was also said to have been financing the CPS to set up media attack dogs here and there against the same government, which is supposed to be united behind the Acting Governor in the absence of the Governor and not make the people of Ondo State feel the absence of Governor Akeredolu in the manner they are doing now.


Mr. Dare Aragbaye should know that we, the People of Ondo State, didn’t vote for him; rather, we voted for Arakunrin Aketi. Whatever interest he is protecting, he should know the Ondo State people have details of everything and let no one make mistakes. We may have constructively opposed Arakunrin Akeredolu in the past, yet we love him and want him to succeed and get well soon. But if those holding sway for him refuse to maintain decorum, then we will have no choice but to release all the facts we have to the public, including engaging the services of the EFCC and ICPC at this time.

The Commissioner of Finance, who is also ambitious to be Governor after Aketi, seems to be part of the issue. He is well respected, and no one is against the Commissioner’s political ambition. The Commissioner seems to be afraid (and suspicious) that the Acting Governor should not have an edge, thereby creating wedges and clogs in the smooth administration of the State. We wish to call on the Hon. Commissioner for Finance to tread softly, as only God can crown a king. The in-fighting is affecting the fortunes of the people of Ondo State. Let him and the Acting Governor work together at this critical time to move Ondo State forward, and politics should be left for the right and ripe time.

Aketi will be disappointed at the activities of his cabinet, to say the least, if he has the briefing of the ongoings at home. If in the coming days (the second transmission of power to the Deputy Governor starts today since Aketi has not resumed) you guys don’t call each other and present common and united Leadership, then we will let you guys know that Ondo State belongs to all of us and we are not afraid of you people as our Servants.

We know a lot of files that are kept in the cupboards of the EFCC, gathering dust. We want to let you know that some of us don’t make threats; we work with facts and figures.


If any of you send your attack dogs, we will unveil and reveal their identities, reply to you with petitions, and publish the acknowledgments, including using the courts to compel the anti-graft bodies to complete their investigations on you people for your failure to provide Leadership when it is needed most.


Generally; Accusations and counter-accusations among politicians are not helpful in addressing the challenges faced by Ondo State or supporting the ailing but recuperating Governor. This period of the governor’s absence is indeed a litmus test for the capacity of individuals within his administration to lead effectively.

It is important for the Acting Governor, with the support of the team, to demonstrate strong Leadership qualities during this time of uncertainty and not make the State rudderless.

Additionally, It is crucial for government officials to work together and be respectful of the chain of command to ensure effective governance.


Furthermore, It is essential for the House of Assembly and key figures within the ruling political party to be accessible and actively involved in addressing the challenges faced by the State at this critical time.


In times like this, it is important for politicians and government officials to set aside personal differences and focus on the well-being of the state’s citizens and residents.


Cooperation, collaboration, and a commitment (3cs) to good governance are crucial for Ondo State to overcome its current challenges. I wish the ailing Governor of Ondo State a quick recovery and an early return to his duty post.
This time shall surely pass!
I come in peace for now.
Tolu Babaleye writes from the office of the Citizens of Ondo State.

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