Ondo civil servant suspended over spreading Governor’s death rumours

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By Akintunde Jacobs, Akure

A civil servant in the Ondo State Civil Service (names withheld) has been suspended for spreading fake news about the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

The state Head of Service, John Adeyemo who disclosed this on Wednesday in Akure said the disciplinary measure was based on the death rumour being peddled about the Governor.

The Head of Service who did not disclose the identity of the said officer, however, said the civil servant in question has been suspended and his name forwarded to the Civil Service Commission for appropriate punishment.

He explained that the officer posted the fake news on his Facebook account, adding that such bad behaviour would not be condoned.

He suggested severe sanctions against purveyors of such fake news to serve as deterrent to others, stressing that fake news creates problems in the society.

Adeyemo also expressed joy that the Governor is back to the country hale and hearty, saying God has shamed the rumour mongers and their sponsors.

“Incidentally, I called Mr Governor a day before the rumour and we spoke and chatted. So, when I heard the fake news I was disturbed and was like who is this fellow carrying this terrible rumour because I knew Mr Governor is alive and with vigour. So, never believed it.”

The Governor began two weeks leave as part of his annual vacation on April 1, 2022. When he was away, Akeredolu handed over power to his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in acting capacity.

However, when the Governor was away, it was rumoured that he had died in Germany.

Speaking live on the state-owned OSRC TV, on Monday, the Governor described the rumour as wicked and politically motivated.

He thanked the good people of the state, saying that he is very much alive and will return to work on Monday to further give his best for the development of the State.

“I left the shores of this country on the March 27, 2022. I was with my party, I was physically present, I was there until the early hours of 27th March, 2022. Throughout 26th, I was at the convention of the APC in Abuja and everybody saw me there. I even sat with delegates from Ondo State. I never left them except when I left to greet delegates from South West and other areas. And it was a successful outing for us in Ondo State and for South West as well.

“And the second day, I left for Dubai, we had the annual investment meeting, which is Dubai Annual meeting and we were all there. So many Governors, about 13 of us were there. I went principally in respect of our Port Ondo because it was during the previous year that we had relationship, and with the relationship with Dubai Port, I wanted to solidify.

“It was not a pleasure vacation, my  vacation started on first but from 27th March, 2022 it was working visit to Dubai, I was still working, so my first 14 days did not start until 1st of April, 2022. So, I was in Dubai working about the State. About 14 States participated and each State has its stand, and I displayed what we have in Ondo State, our Bitumen, our Mineral resources. I attended other fora to discuss and project the image of Ondo State,” the Governor explained.