Abeni Aso-Oke

Why Akeredolu must resign now – Dayo Awude. By Lai Gidado

Abeni Aso-Oke

Welcome to Ebony Herald Political platform, our Guest on Political platform today is a stakeholder in Ondo State affairs, he is an author of many books and a Politician of note.

Abeni Aso-Oke

Welcome Honourable Adedayo Awude a former commissioner for Youths and Sports Development in Ondo state.

In this interview, Awude shared his thoughts on some political issues in Ondo State, security challenges and some personal experiences.

Abeni Aso-Oke

Excerpt:

EH- Can we meet you sir?

Hon. Awude- My name is ‘Dayo Awude, a farmer, author and politician of the People’s Democratic Party extraction. I was, among other things, a State Commissioner (Youth Development and Sports) in the Mimiko administration in Ondo State.

EH- You are known for bearing your mind on issues of public interest. What is your take on the state of things in Ondo, State at the moment?

Hon. Awude- It is quite unfortunate that Ondo State has found itself in its present predicament, due to the ill health of the state governor that has become protracted. Like I said a few weeks ago, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is obviously incapacitated, and the honourable thing to do in the circumstance is to resign his office. This will allow him attend to his health and also allow the state have a working leadership. As it stands, Ondo State is at a standstill – no governor, no government and no governance. We cannot continue like this.

EH. How and why did you come to the conclusion of the governor’s incapacitation when you are not a medical doctor?

Hon. Awude- One does not really have to be a doctor to decipher what is going on. The palpable hush-hush around the Governor says it all. In the last seven months, the people of Ondo State have not sighted or heard their governor. Even upon his arrival from his four month stay in a German hospital into the country three months ago, he is yet to step on the soil of Ondo State, neither has he addressed the people. No one can say for a fact the specific ailment the governor is suffering from. Even after the rumour mill has it that his signature was being forged, he hasn’t uttered a word. That is very much unlike Akeredolu. The people of Ondo State are left in the limbo and tension is heightened by the day. And like the Ostrich which buries its head in the sand thinking all of its body is covered, state officials are trying so hard to cover a reality staring us all in the face. In the divided house our government has become, we wake up to different excuses and justifications for the continued absence of the Governor from the State. These excuses range from the puerile to, sometimes, the very insulting. The recent and most comical reason being that the Governor’s Lodge had (suddenly) become too small to accommodate him and a new one was being renovated. This is a lodge he had used for six years! To these jesters, this is enough reason to keep a governor out of his state for over seven months. From their myopic lens, they couldn’t find any building in Ondo State good enough to house it’s Governor. These actors remind one of Ola Rotimi’s famous play, “Our Husbands have gone Mad Again”.

In Ondo State now, government activities have become a charade, akin only to the State of Nature described by Thomas Hobbes. As a former Commissioner in the State, I can say this because I know how a government should be run. Governance is at ground zero and the people of Ondo State are now regretably left with the short end of the stick. So, after over seven months of inaction and invisibility, one can safely conclude that MR GOVERNOR IS INCAPACITATED..

EH- You as a stakeholder in Ondo State Political terrain – if you say the Governor is incapacitated. Who then is giving directive? We read news daily and hear Akeredolu says, Akeredolu ordered. Who is doing all this?

Hon. Awude- As it is today, Ondo State has become, more or less, a palace of jesters. You get conflicting reports from state actors. The truth is, on a normal ground, the governor can speak through designated aides and officials, but in this case that the governor hasn’t been seen in the public or heard directly in the last seven months, then there are rooms for suspicion. We hear from the grapevine that these actors have backings from some quarters very close to the governor. These groups include those who have always had the ears of the governor, now popularly called the cabal, another force is Betty, the governor’s wife. She’s known to be very outspoken and possessive. The governor’s son, whose direction fingers are pointing in the signature forgery scandal is yet another force and perhaps a one man cabal like his mother. Adetimehin, the State Chairman and the Speaker of the house of Assembly are yet another group in this drama. These groups are in arms against the forces loyal to the embattled Deputy Governor. In the process, what we get are cacophony of voices steering us in different directions in the Ondo State ship that’s almost going under.

EH- How would you describe the political terrain in Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole?

Hon. Awude- Well, I’ve been involved actively in the politics of this nation since the inception of the fourth Republic in 1999.

And I must tell you, we still have a long way to go. There was a level of sanity under Presidents Obasanjo and Yar’Adua. Jonathan tried his hands on a number of very progressive policies like the TSA and BVN, but there was a lot of recklessness and impunity under him. Things went very bad under the Buhari administration. So bad that the country entered economic recession thrice. The nation’s foreign reserve was depleted almost to ground zero; the country’s generated electricity megawatt dropped from almost 5,000 to a paltry 2,300 megawatts. The foreign debt paid off by the Olusegun Obasanjo led PDP government rose again to about $45B. Insecurity got to a new height with the menaces of Bokoharam and the Fulani herdsmen destroying farm lands and putting the lives of Nigerians in danger. I can go on and on. The Buhari administration was a monumental disappointment. Under the present Tinubu government, things have gone from bad to worse. The cost of living has tripled in six months. Nigerians are groaning.

EH- Are you not saying all these because you belong to the opposition party?

Hon. Awude- No, not at all. These are facts before the public. When I speak, I do from a point of experience. I have been a direct victim of Fulani Herdsmen attack. My friend and partner, Mr. Ayodele Falaye suffered the same fate. Our farms were destroyed. We were threatened on our farms with sophisticated weapons. I still do not feel safe on my farm even now, because they haven’t left the vicinity and unfortunately, law enforcement agents appear handicapped because the law against open grazing in Nigeria is either nonexistent or not implemented. Very unfortunate. It is the same thing on the political front, My colleagues and I have been attacked severally. I was once stabbed by thugs of the opposition party. I only survived by the grace of God. These reports are in the news. I thank God I survived all. We will not give up on this country. Nigeria belongs to us all.

EH- Hon Adedayo Awude the former Government House Chief Protocol and former Commissioner for youth and Sport in Ondo State. Thanks for Answering our call on Ebony Herald Political platform, we hope to have you again here sir.

Hon. Awude- it is my pleasure

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