THE Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is on his way to Nigeria from Germany after over 90 days spent on medical leave.
The governor’s wife Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu disclosed this via her social media handle, X, on Thursday, September 7, when she posted a picture of him in an aircraft with the caption “Homebound.”
Akeredolu became noticeably ill some months after his mother’s death in September 2022.
There were speculations that the governor was battling a life-threatening ailment, and in January 2023, Akeredolu admitted to being ill.
He stated that he was in recuperation and the illness was not hindering him from carrying out his duties as governor.
“Since the Governor is not a superhuman and the immunity his office enjoys does not extend to physical wellness or otherwise, the health issue is therefore not an unusual one. However, contrary to speculations and insinuations making the round, the Governor, though frail, is discharging his official functions,” a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olabode, read.
Despite assurances that he was getting better, Akeredolu applied for a three-week medical leave in June, and Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa took over governance in his stead.
He, however, failed to return upon exhaustion of the 21 days, and a letter he addressed to people of the state disclosed that only his doctors could determine when he would be discharged.
Stakeholders in the state, including the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressed concerns over the governor’s health and called for his resignation.
A statement by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr Kennedy Peretei, said the state should not be grounded because of the governor’s health conditions.
Akeredolu returns to the state to confront the huge task of governance and aspirations for the 2024 governorship poll in the state from his party members and those in the opposition parties.
The ICIR reports that the governor was sworn in for a second term of four years on February 24, 2021.
He is the 18th person to lead Ondo State since its creation in 1976 and the sixth elected governor of the state.
He has been the most vocal governor in Nigeria’s southern region against atrocities committed by non-state actors, including herders, kidnappers, insurgents and bandits, who killed many people during former president Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.