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Civil society in Ondo State decries leadership void amid governor’s absence

Coalition Urges Assembly to Address Constitutional Crisis and Investigate Allegations of Mismanagement

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The Ondo State Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (OSCOCSO) has expressed deep concern over the current governance situation in the state, asserting that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s prolonged absence has left a void in leadership. At a press conference on Friday, OSCOCSO Chairman, Mr Franklin Oloniju, voiced the coalition’s dissatisfaction, emphasizing the need for urgent action to address the constitutional crisis.

Oloniju pointed out that the absence of the governor has rendered the state government rudderless, hindering its ability to effectively tackle pressing issues affecting the people of Ondo State. In response to this leadership vacuum, the OSCOCSO called on the Ondo State House of Assembly to declare the deputy governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as the acting governor in accordance with constitutional provisions.

Expressing dismay at the Assembly’s inaction, Oloniju stated, “The Ondo State House of Assembly’s inaction is a dereliction of duty and a violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).” He referred to Article 190 of the Constitution, which mandates the deputy governor to assume the governor’s functions in the event of the governor’s inability to discharge duties.

Highlighting the ripple effects of the delayed response, Oloniju emphasized that the crisis has led to unnecessary hardship and uncertainty for the people of Ondo State. Urging the Assembly to act promptly, he stressed the importance of correcting the lacuna in government leadership.

Additionally, Oloniju called for thorough investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) into allegations of theft and mismanagement of public funds by certain government officials in the state. This dual call for constitutional adherence and accountability underscores the civil society’s commitment to good governance and transparency in Ondo State.

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