• Sunday, February 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Tinubu’s peace deal in Ondo faces setbacks

Tinubu targets $300b dead capital, with new housing sector appointments

Reactions have continued to trail the conflicting resolutions of the peace deal of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with members of the Ondo State House of Assembly following the political crisis in the state.

President Tinubu had last Friday made a bold intervention to stop the political impasse in the State that which trailed the ill-health of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, his absence from the state, and the impeachment process against Aiyedatiwa.

Afterward, the Assembly led by the speaker, Olamide Oladiji revealed that part of the resolution at the peace deal was that an undated letter of resignation must be written, signed by the Deputy Governor, and submitted to the President.

However, a group, Concerned Elites of Ondo State, has described it as ‘rape of democratic governance’, the action of the House saying they have violated the constitution.

Recalled that the House on Tuesday held its first plenary session after last Friday’s meeting with Tinubu in Abuja and at the plenary, the Speaker of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, disclosed that, as part of the resolutions reached at the meeting with Tinubu, the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, was asked to write an undated resignation letter and submit it to the President.

But a statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the group, Olanrewaju Akeredolu and Adeola Fagbayibo respectively, and made a copy available to journalists on Thursday in Akure said the issue in Ondo state presently seems beyond ordinary with the actions demonstrated by lawmakers and the executives.

The statement reads further; “It is unclear to the people of the state whom they claim to be representing how the lawmakers will abandon their core duty of bringing an acting governor on board now that it is clear that the governor is incapacitated.

“Coded media intelligence team earlier found out that the state assembly is inviting some people for an interview as a caretaker committee for local governments across the state. Is Mr Speaker not aware of the illegality of this move? Are they assuming that we did not know that Akeredolu didn’t sign any of such documents before departing Nigeria for Germany in April on health grounds? Why this connivance?

Read also: Ondo political crisis: Aiyedatiwa set to preside over exco meeting

“Everyone expects the lawmakers to, as soon as they are back from Abuja, work on the doctrine of necessity as provided in the constitution without any incumbrances. The question begs for the answer why the speaker and the lawmakers prefer to play on the emotions of Ondo citizens.

“As the news of President Tinubu’s intervention in the logjam brokered, the people rejoiced with the hope that the people at the corridor of power within the state would burry their hatchet in honour of Mr. President in the interest of the citizens but these demonstrations are contrary. Why will the speaker entertain the request of Babajide and Adetimehin at this healing moment in the state?

“The drift should face out whatever can incite or reignite crisis. The appointment of a caretaker committee for local government will engender a new kiosk. Taking such a decision now is tantamount to disrespect for the President and all other leaders across the country who waded into the matter.

“Since Mr Speaker cannot honour the president by avoiding anything that can broker new crisis then the time for all the meaningful people of Ondo state to rise and repel the move of the speaker is now. His actions are unwholesome for the good people of the Ondo state.

“We have noticed that Mr. Speaker, for reasons known to him, deliberately twisted facts to suit a certain interest by asserting that there was no agreement to transfer power to the Deputy Governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, following the prolonged absence of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON.

“While reading the major conditions of status quo put forward at the meeting – which include retaining the Cabinet, Assembly leadership and Party leadership as currently constituted in the State – Mr. Speaker refused to mention that those conditions were hinged on Aiyedatiwa gaining acting governorship status.

“It is common knowledge that a Deputy Governor does not have the constitutional power to dissolve the State Executive Council. That power is vested in the Governor and can only be exercised by the Deputy Governor if he is Acting Governor.

“The question that the people of Ondo State should ask Mr. Speaker is: if the directive of Mr. President is for Aiyedatiwa not to be named Acting Governor, why then was he made to issue a commitment not to dissolve the Cabinet or change the leadership of the Assembly and Party? If he remains as Deputy Governor, does he have the power to dissolve the Cabinet?

“For the sake of clarity, the President indeed maintained that Akeredolu remains Governor and Aiyedatiwa remains his deputy. However, since the absence of the Governor has been prolonged and a vacuum created, the Assembly was asked to give Aiyedatiwa the power to act as Governor pending the return of Akeredolu to office.

“The Speaker mentioned that Aiyedatiwa was asked by the President to sign an undated resignation letter but Mr. Speaker refused to mention that that commitment was predicated on the Deputy Governor becoming Acting Governor. The undated resignation letter was to serve as insurance in case he refused to relinquish power upon the return of Akeredolu to office.

“When Mr. President ‘appointed’ the Speaker, the Party chairman, and the SSG to act as monitors of the implementation of the resolutions reached, their job was to ensure that Aiyedatiwa as Acting Governor does not deviate from the resolutions. There is absolutely nothing to monitor in a Deputy Governor who has no constitutional powers.

“We therefore insist that Mr. Speaker has breached the resolutions by churning out half-truths in an attempt to delay or abort the implementation of the directive of Mr. President. The suspicious decision to hurriedly screen and approve 66 people into LG/LCDAS interim administration within a few hours today points in that direction.

“While the Deputy Governor is not desperate to assume the status of Acting Governor and will play his part in maintaining peace and order in the State, it is imperative to let the people know those who are intent on scuttling the efforts of Mr. President and well-meaning stakeholders in restoring peace to our beloved State.”