A group of senior public servants in Ondo State has declared that there is no “Cabals” in the ranks of the State government’s appointees, insisting that the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters & Special Duties, Mr Dare Aragbaiye has been operating within the powers given to him by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN

The Top Workers under “Concerned Stakeholders in the Public Service of Ondo State” in a press statement signed by their Leader, Mr Emmanuel Akinyemi, pointed out that from the track records of Aragbaiye who worked under different military and civilian governors, he is a very loyal top public servant and he would not go against his scope of official duties.

The Stakeholders said, “At the centre of this controversy are the Deputy Governor, who is now acting Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Commissioner for Finance; Wale Akinterinwa and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters and Special Duties, Dare Aragbaiye. There have been protracted narratives from various sources about the happenings inside the Alagbaka Governor’s office. The claims by the opportunists and loyalist of the Acting Governor, among others include;

“The claim that Aragbaiye and few others have constituted themselves as cabals in the Government is not substantiated with facts. Those who are familiar with the case of cabals in Governments would understand that there are no cabals in the Ondo State Government.

“The question we should ask ourselves is that what informed the recent hostility in the Government. Since 2021, Governor Akeredolu has been embarking on yearly vacations. Each time, he would transfer power to Aiyedatiwa in acting capacity. All these times, we didn’t hear about these cabals in Government. What has now changed ? Why the sudden rise of cabals in Government? What exactly are these people doing that have made them cabals? Is this the first time that Aiyedatiwa will be Acting Governor?

“The narrative that Aragbaiye is preventing Aiyedatiwa to function effectively as the Acting Governor is laughable and ridiculous. How can a Special Adviser prevent a Deputy Governor from functioning as acting Governor? Has Aragbaiye grounded the Deputy Governor’s office? Has the deputy governor issued any directive to any cabinet member and Aragbaiye asked them to disobey?

“We have seen the acting Governor attending events and performing the functions of the Governor including receiving important state guest in courtesy visit. One would wonder how Aragbaiye is preventing the acting governor from performing effectively. It should be noted that Aiyedatiwa and his cohorts have failed to expatiate on this claim.

“The claim that Aragbaiye and the Commissioner for Finance refused to release money for the Deputy Governor to perform his duties is preposterous. The absurdity in this claim smells a suspicious twist to the issue on ground. We know that the office of the Deputy Governor is established to function effectively in the governor’s absence.

“There are budgetary provisions for travelling allowances, gifts, meals, and other expenses for the deputy governor’s office. Is the deputy governor’s office starved of fund? Is Aragbaiye responsible for the disbursement of funds to the Deputy governor’s office? We should ask Aiyedatiwa if he has requested fund from Finance following due process and has been rejected. He should be able to show evidence of such letter of request.

“Executive council meetings are summoned by the Governor to discuss serious matters affecting Government and the good people of the State and not for jamboree or funfair. Those who claimed that Lucky Aiyedatiwa hasn’t been able to summon a State Executive council meeting since he took over as acting Governor are pathological liars.

“They are spinning these false narrative to paint some people bad and label them as stumbling block. It is evident that on the 19th of June, Aiyedatiwa summoned a State Executive Council meeting which was well attended by Cabinet members. Has he summoned another one since then and it wasn’t honored? He should let us know.

“The lie being told by Aiyedatiwa’s apologists that nothing is moving in the state including security is a slap on the Acting Governor. He must be unaware of the various operations of the Amotekun corps.

“One thing is clear, the people of the State must understand that Aragbaiye is only carrying the burden of loyalty. Aiyedatiwa and his allies are questioning his loyalty to the Governor. The attacks on Aragbaiye directly undermine the Governor. The deputy governor’s desperation has created a significant divide within the Government. It is essential for him to cease the noise about reshuffling the cabinet.

“And if he so desire to reshuffle the Cabinet and appoint his cronies, he should go ahead. Numerous lies have been spread, particularly on social media. The acting Governor should refrain from spreading falsehoods and should be able to state the facts and face the reality.

It is evident that the acting governor and his hirelings are not bold enough to state the main reason for their unabated attacks on Aragbaiye. A man who has made good name for himself. Dare Aragbaiye, a quintessential Public Administrator who has in his career as a Civil Servant, served as Private Secretary to two(2)succesive Military Governors of Ondo State, Colonel later Brigadier Ekundayo Opaleye and Navy Captain, later Commandore Olabode George.

“He (Aragbaiye) also served as Chief Protocol Officer to the former Deputy Governor, Lt. Dr Olusegun Agagu and later as Personal Assistant to former Military Governor, Colonel Moses Fasanya. He was thereafter appointed as Permanent Secretary by Governor Olusegun Mimiko in year 2012 and was appointed Head of Service in year 2019 by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON. In all these various positions, Aragbaiye’s loyalty to his bosses are absolute.

“While he also served under Governor Akeredolu, he has earned the trust and confidence of the Governor. That is what Aiyedatiwa and his cohort want him to betray. But those who know Aragbaiye know that he is dedicated, firm, loyal, fearless, committed and trustworthy. I know that he will not be cowed into allowing corruption and abuse of public office,” the Stakeholders said.

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