Osun State Government on Friday kept mum as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party berated Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for absenting self from the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum meeting held in Delta State earlier in the week.
Governors from the southern part of the country had at the meeting discussed issues affecting the region and subsequently banned open grazing in the region. They also demanded restructuring of the country and the convocation of a national dialogue, among other issues.
But Osun State governor, who was said to be in Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj, did not attend the meeting and reportedly did not send his deputy, Benedict Alabi, who had been in charge since Oyetola embarked on the trip to the Holy Land.
But the PDP in a statement signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Oladele Oluwabamiji, urged Oyetola not to aggravate insecurity ravaging the state in a bid to please some power brokers in the country.
The party queried the conspicuous absence of the governor at such a high-powered meeting, where sensitive decisions bordering on safety of lives of citizens in the southern part of the country were taken.
The party said, “We advise Governor Gboyega Oyetola to desist from putting Osun State into security jeopardy on the altar of politics of courting sympathy of power brokers in the country.
“We query the conspicuous absence of governor Oyetola at such a high powered meeting of governors in the Southern part of the country where sensitive decisions bordering on safely of lives of citizens in the southern part of the country were taken.
“We declare such deliberate absence of the governor or any official of the state government at such meeting as absolutely disservice to the people of the state.
“The message in Mr Oyetola’s refusal to represent the state in banning open grazing in the southern part of the country was that of open embrace of bandits and kidnappers into the state as safe haven for their nefarious activities.
“This state as far as we are concerned, cannot afford to accommodate the main nucleus of insecurity in the region which is predicated on open grazing. Mr Oyetola must stop playing politics with the lives of sons and daughters of Osun State.”
Response to a text message sent to the state Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, requesting for information on why Oyetola did not attend the meeting nor send representative, was still being expected as of the time of filing this report.
However, a top Osun government official, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said Oyetola was part of the meeting, even though he did not attend in person, as his name was on the communiqué issued by the governors.