By Adekola Afolabi
It is no longer news that Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has returned to the country after his medical vacation in Germany, what is news now is the official duties the Governor has been able to perform since assumption of duties. It would be recalled that Akeredolu triumphantly returned to the country on Thursday 7, amidst jubilation and excitement.
Since his return, and within 48 hours (from Friday to Sunday) after presenting letter of resumption to the State House of Assembly, the Governor left no one in doubt that he is fully ready with more energy and vigour to continue his good works for the state and the people. This is very obvious in a number of duties he has undertaken since then.
The first official duty Governor Akeredolu performed was separate meetings he held with key stakeholders from Ondo State on Friday 8. The meeting was held at The Law Hub, Ring Road, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, where the governor landed since his return to the country. He informed the stakeholders that he is back and has resumed immediately as Governor of the state.
Stakeholders present at the meeting included members of the State House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji; members of the State Executive Council, led by the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa; National Assembly members; led by Senator Jide Ipinsagba; and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) State Working Committee, led by the Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin. Other were Youth groups, led by the Ondo APC Youth Leader, Comrade Olawande Ayo Wisdom; Former Local Government Chairmen, led by Augustine Oloruntogbe and members of the Foundation of Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO). The wife of the Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, also joined the Governor to receive the FOWOSO members.
During the meeting, Governor Akeredolu formally handed over his resumption letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, and also provided a copy to the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was in attendance.
Akeredolu said: ”I came back yesterday, and as you know, it was a long journey. I decided that I must meet with you today. God has answered our prayers, and we give Him all the glory. I can assure you that our return is to the glory of God and the prayers of all of you here, and those who wished us well, I thank you very much. God has done what the majority of our people wanted. Majority of our people here knelt down and prayed for our return, and we have returned. So, because we had to land here in Ibadan first, I said I have to meet with House of Assembly members here. We are here, and we are back. I am back, and by the grace of God, I will be alive to complete my full tenure in office. I want to tell you that I am back, and I will resume work immediately. This is my letter of resumption”.
The Speaker, Oladiji, while speaking on behalf of other lawmakers, expressed gratitude to God for the safe return of the Governor, stating that the Governor’s return to the country is a prayer answered.
In a similar meeting with members of the State Executive Council, the Governor informed them that he had presented his letter of resumption to the Speaker of the House of Assembly. He thanked the Executive Council members for their prayers and the good work they had carried out while he was away on medical vacation. ”We are now back, and we give God all the glory. I have to let members of the House of Assembly know first that we have returned. I’m back as Governor of Ondo State. We thank God that I am alive and here. It’s your prayers that have kept us here. The office of the Governor has resumed full work”, he stressed.
Akeredolu also held meetings with members of the National Assembly, he assured that his administration would persist until a solid foundation is established for the Port Ondo. He enjoined the federal lawmakers to work together across party lines, adding that they should always pursue the good of the people and the State.
In his remarks on behalf of the National Assembly members, Senator Ipinsagba, assured the Governor of the support of Ondo National Assembly Caucus. He also expressed gratitude for the Governor’s safe return and offered prayers for his continued protection and well-being.
Saturday 9, was another busy day for Mr Governor as he also carried out different official assignments for the development of the state. Principal among these was the signing of the bill creating the 33 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state. The bill was presented to the Governor for assent by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, during a brief ceremony. Also present at the signing were Deputy Speaker, Abayomi Akinruntan; Majority Leader, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi; and the Parliamentary Secretary, Moyinoluwa Ogunwumiju.
With the Governor’s assent, the bill, which had already been passed by the state House of Assembly, now possesses the legal backing for the creation of the LCDAs in Ondo State. The establishment of the LCDAs marks a substantial step towards fulfilling Governor Akeredolu’s campaign promises and addressing the aspirations of the people for enhanced grassroots development. This laudable initiative underscores Akeredolu’s unwavering commitment to improving public service delivery, as it aims at bringing governance closer to the people, ultimately resulting in more responsive and efficient services. The Governor promised to remain dedicated to delivering impactful projects and innovative initiatives, just as he redoubles his efforts in advancing the development of the Sunshine State.
The Governor rounded off his official duties for the week under review with a letter of appreciation to President Bola Tinubu, the people of the Sunshine State and other well-wishers across the country. In a letter he personally signed, Governor Akeredolu emphasised that he is deeply touched by the show of love and affections from eminent individuals, groups, organisations, political associates, and particularly, the good people of the Sunshine State.
“Your outpour of love wrapped in prayers, kind words, cheering messages, affectionate support as well as countless display of varied forms of brotherliness during my recovery process were heart-lifting. The love and prayers were, indeed, potent enhancers which aided my recovery and deepened my abiding faith in God and service to humanity. Undoubtedly, gratitude is the greatest spark that lights fire in the soul. I consider these gestures as uncommon privileges which underscores the importance of the gift of humanity.
“I appreciate the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his support and love. Mr. President, you are a reliable ally and a dependable leader. I am deeply grateful. I equally thank the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima and the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio; and all Members of the Senate. My profound gratitude to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) led by its Chairman and Executive Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq; and the Progressives Governors Forum, (PGF) led by Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
“My sincere appreciation to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Abass Tajudeen; and all Members of the House of Representatives; Members of the Federal Executive Council; National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the Chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje and other prominent leaders in the party.
A big thank you to the leadership of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) including prominent members of the inner and outer Bars. My special appreciation to all Honourable Justices of the High, Appeal and Supreme Courts. My Lords, I am grateful.
“I am particularly grateful to the people of Ondo State and Nigerians at large for your prayers and supports. I thank members of the Ondo State House of Assembly; Members of the State Executive Council; the recently dissolved Local Government Chairmen; Heads of Security Agencies; Revered Royal fathers ; Both Serving and Retired Bishops, Chief Imam, Clergymen and other religious leaders; Forum of Permanent Secretaries; Labour Leaders, All Civil Servants; Political Leaders across Parties ; Market Women, Artisans and Members of the State Park Management Committee; and as well as others too numerous to mention.
“My appreciation also goes to Captains of industries, friends and acquaintances, extended family members, among others. Your kindness and affection are priceless and your love, inestimable. Above all, I return all glory, honour and adoration to God Almighty for His immense grace, healing and mercy over me and my family. May His mercy and limitless grace continue to abide in us all.To the good people of Ondo State, our determination and resolve to improve the lives of our people and prosecute our conviction for developing our dear state are unwavering. We shall continue to toe the path of progress and double our efforts to achieve set goals and objectives in line with the “REDEEMED” agenda of our administration. We are back, and better”, the Governor added.