GOVERNANCE has been brought to a standstill in Ogun State over the last week after Governor Dapo Abiodun and his deputy along with the speaker of the state house of assembly all travelled abroad leaving the state in limbo.
In an unprecedented development, the top three citizens in the state all happened to be away at the same time and nobody has been placed in charge of governance. Of late, Ogun State has not been holding its weekly executive council meetings and neither has the Ogun State House of Assembly held any sittings.
Apparently, things got off to a bad start when Governor Abiodun decided to leave for the UK last week to visit the ailing All Progressives Congress leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu without handing over to his deputy Noimot Salako-Oyedele. It appears that the governor only informed Tokunbo Talabi, the secretary to the state government that he was travelling abroad, so his deputy who was not aware of what was going on made her own plans.
Deputy governor Salako-Oyedele subsequently enacted her own plans to travel to the UK, while Hon Olakunle Oluomo, the speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly is attending an international summit in the US. To make matters worse, Hon Oluomo left without handing over to the deputy speaker of the house.
One local source said: “This is not the first time the governor will be leaving the country without handing over or without telling the people of Ogun. He has done it several times and I think this one got the attention of everybody because the people wanted him to resume work immediately after his father’s burial.”
Local residents have expressed displeasure over the development, describing it as a total breach of the constitution. Lawyer Festus Ogun, said that while the state was on fire, the trio travelled to London, abdicating their duties, describing the situation as a constitutional infraction, which he said would be challenged.
Sikirulahi Ogundele, the chairman of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, added that he was not surprised by the actions of the three most senior government officials. He asked the governor and others to return to Ogun State immediately in order to mark the annual October 1 independence day celebration on Friday.
There are rumours spreading on social media that the deputy governor left the country angrily when Governor Abiodun ignored her and handed over to the secretary to the state government. However, Waheed Odusile, the Ogun State commissioner for information, debunked the rumour, accusing journalists of putting rubbish together in the name of journalism.
Mr Odusile said: “That the deputy governor left the country because the governor handed over to the SSG is not true. You people should not insinuate what is not there. As journalists, can’t we even reason or just use our brains for once?
“I’ve been doing this job for the past 40 years and I’ve never seen this type of reportage in my life. People just cook up stories for whatever reasons and they believe they are doing journalism.”