In the last few weeks, Ondo State has dominated front pages of national newspapers as well as discourse in broadcast media platforms for the wrong reason.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN proceeded on a three-month medical leave after which he returned to his private residence in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. What initially looked like a joke soon became major embarrassment, as the state made history where the Chief Executive was missing in action.
When Akeredolu was abroad for medical treatment, prayer sessions were held for his quick recovery not only by Muslim and Christian clerics but also by traditional rulers, politicians across political divide, not to talk of civil servants, who drew up a roster for prayers in various Ministries and Departments. That was the level of empathy the Governor enjoyed. But as the days turned to weeks and weeks thinned into months, tongues are already wagging, everybody is now asking the same question, “Where is Akeredolu, Who is in charge of Ondo State?”.
I have taken the title of this piece, directly from the lines of American Poet, Audrey Heller in her poem ” How Much Longer Must l Wait”. Akeredolu is in the same quagmire as Ondo State. In the words of Heller “I do get restless, to be sure, so how much longer, do l have to wait, for some kind of cure? I’m eager to find, what life’s all about, and can’t do it, staying in one place. I need to spread my wings in order to experience what l must face…”
Illness has confined Akeredolu to one place, that will not be the reason Ondo State must be on the same spot for nearly one year.
History will be very unkind to those who are holding Akeredolu hostage, taking advantage of his inability to spread his wings.
Those asking for Akeredolu’s whereabouts are not his enemies. His real enemies are those who portray him as greedily hanging on to the reins of government at the detriment of his personal health.
At the fullness of time, all those constitutionally empowered to address this stagnation of affairs in our state but chose to keep quiet will all have a date with history. Ondo State is ill, just like Akeredolu and needs cure urgently.
How much longer must I wait to see Akeredolu return to his duty post?
Peretei is the PDP publicity secretary in Ondo State.
Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.