A stakeholders’ group in Ondo State, over the weekend rose from an emergency meeting, asking the senior special assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Special Duties, Mr Doyin Odebowale, to tender apologies over his unrestrained media attacks on the Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
In a communique in Akure on Friday, the Ondo Progressives Forum (OSF), a pressure group under ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) lampooned that Odebowale’s repeated castigation of the person of the deputy governor smacked of disrespect and lack of decorum, “for reasons best known to him”.
The OSF said Odebowale’s unguarded attacks on Aiyedatiwa reeked of the attitude of ‘atohunrinwa to’n dale ru (a bad guest), noting that as a non-indigene who got political appointment in Ondo State, he had startled all “through his crisis-prone utterances”.
Also, the group particularly faulting his “false claim” of representing the governor any time he does so, said that he is not the state government’s spokesman.
The OSF, in a statement by its acting chairman, Hon. Femi Ogunleye, and Organising Secretary, Mr. Tolulope Obadofin, said, “The actions and conduct of Doyin Odebowale, the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Odunayo Akeredolu of Ondo State, have raised serious concerns and have caused distress among the indigenes of Ondo State.
“It is essential to address these concerns and demand accountability from Odebowale for his behaviour. The people of Ondo State are requesting an apology letter to acknowledge the impact of his actions and restore faith in his responsibility as a public servant”.
It added, “Odebowale’s behaviour, particularly his derogatory remarks and actions, has caused significant distress among the people of Ondo State. As a Senior Special Adviser, he should recognise the importance of respectful engagement and understand that his role requires him to uphold the dignity and integrity of the office he serves.”
The OSF also demurred over reports of Odebowale allegedly harassing and bullying individuals, particularly women, in marketplaces, saying such reports were deeply troubling.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable and goes against the principles of compassion, respect, and equality. Odebowale must be held accountable for any actions that undermine the safety and well-being of the citizens of Ondo State.”
The group added that coming from another state, Odebowale must be mindful of the cultural sensitivities and values of the people of Ondo State.
It is essential that he respects and embraces the local customs and traditions rather than engaging in actions that may be perceived as harassment or disrespect; in the manner of ‘Omo to toko wa balu je (in the manner of someone from a hut that has come to destabilise a town).
It thus urged him to tender unreserved apologies, recant his weighty derogatory statements against the deputy governor, and comply with civil conducts.
“The people of Ondo State have been deeply affected by the actions and behavior of Doyin Odebowale, Senior Special Adviser to Governor Odunayo Akeredolu. It is crucial that Odebowale recognizes the gravity of the situation and acknowledges the need for accountability.
“The demand for an apology letter is a reasonable request to restore faith in his commitment to serving the people of Ondo State with respect, integrity, and cultural sensitivity. The people of Ondo State deserve a public servant who upholds their values and treats them with dignity,” the group complained.