Following arguments from different quarters about the absence of Ondo state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu from the state for over 4 months, an Akure based human rights lawyer, Morakinyo Ogele, on Wednesday argued that Akeredolu can govern the state from any part of the country.

Ogele who stated this while speaking with journalists in Akure, Ondo state capital, maintained that the Ondo state governor has the legal right to direct the affairs of the state as outlined by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

According to him, there should not be any concerns over Akeredolu particularly when his absence from the state has no adverse effect in the governance of the state, saying Akeredolu’s absence has not affected governance of the state in any way.

The legal practitioner noted that the constitution was silent and not particular on where the governor must reside or stay as elected governor but said once the governor fulfills his responsibilities as governor, there is be no need to raise unnecessary dust over the issue.

It will be recalled that Akeredolu’s absence from the state has generated controversy from various quarters while many residents kicked against the continued stay of the governor in Ibadan.

Ogele, however, stated that illness can befall anyone, underscoring the need for understanding and empathy, and said “We are all human beings, and we are subject to the act of God.

“No one is praying to God for the grace to be sick. But the moment you are sick, you just have to take care of yourself, either here in Nigeria or in other countries. So, as governor, he is subject to sickness.

“The constitution is very clear about the issue. Now that the governor is around, nobody has accused him of not performing his constitutional role. Section 189 of the Constitution is as clear as the summer sky. As of now, no one is complaining that the governor has not been performing.

“The moment he arrived, he signed the LCDAs bill into law, and the salary of workers is going on smoothly. It is one thing not to perform his constitutional roles; it is another thing that he is performing. If he cannot perform as governor, that is where the constitution comes in.

“There are lots of lacuna in our constitution. The constitution has not indicted any governor who is not within his state to perform his constitutional roles. That is why we need to amend our constitution.

“The constitution has failed to address the question of whether a governor can operate from outside the state. There is nowhere in the constitution that the governor can only operate in Ondo State.

“Politicians read meaning to everything. They are preparing for another election, hence the present scenario in the state.

“As far as I’m concerned, Akeredolu has exposed this state to development. When you see all the roads constructed by his administration you will commend him for a job well done. As we speak, construction of the first flyover in the state capital is ongoing. Don’t forget he has constructed one in Ore during his first term. This is unprecedented in the state.

“Look at the Amotekun Corps, Even in the entire south-west, the Amotekun project has been a success. When insecurity was rampant in the region, Akeredolu mobilised all his colleagues in the south-west to form Amotekun. Akeredolu is our savior in the Southwest.

“In all fairness, the activities of kidnappers within the south west have drastically reduced. Akeredolu is security conscious, and he believes in the rule of law.”

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