Aviral video of ailing Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, where he was seen sitting on a motorable chair at an undisclosed hospital, has continued to spark reactions.
The 30-second video clip was shared on Friday by Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, the majority leader of the State House of Assembly.
In the footage shared on social media, Mr Ogunmolasuyi, representing Owo Constituency I in the assembly, was cheering the governor for his 67th birthday amid special greetings.
Faulting the lawmaker’s action during the weekend, Kayode Ajulo, a human rights lawyer, said the video clip violated the privacy of the governor, who looked sick.
“Sharing such a video of the governor (Akeredolu) in a weakened condition is highly insensitive and uncalled for,” the Ondo-born legal practitioner said in a statement obtained by Peoples Gazette on Sunday.
He explained that the lawmaker could have taken a more respectful approach by arranging a private meeting or a personal video call to convey greetings from well-wishers, particularly the acting governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Deji of Akure, Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, the Olowo of Owo kingdom, Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye among others.
Mr Ajulo noted that it was important to prioritise the privacy and dignity of people facing health challenges, irrespective of the rumour surrounding such a person’s condition.
“I maintain that it was a total invasion of the governor’s privacy and an act of insensitivity towards his well-being.
“As concerned citizens, we must support him and pray more for his speedy recovery, not exploit his vulnerable state for any purpose.
“Irrespective of the rumour making the rounds, his privacy and integrity must be respected, especially during this time of health struggles,” he added.
While noting that crucial health matters are personal and should not be exploited for political reasons, Mr Ajulo said the picture of the governor and his wife, Betty, was enough to assure the members of the public of his well-being against any sudden rumour.
But in his swift reaction, Mr Ogunmolasuyi revealed that although the video was shared with the public for the benefit of the people, it was not an intention to harm Mr Akeredolu or his family members.
“I meant no harm with the video. It was sent out because some people are saying that the governor was on a life support machine.
“As of Friday, he served everyone around him with food and cake without any assistance, and he danced to music from Yinka Ayefele for more than one hour 30 minutes and was on his feet for over 2 hours without any support,” the state lawmaker said.
Mr Ogunmolasuyi stressed that during his visit to the governor at the hospital, he spoke with the entire lawmakers of both the 9th and 10th assembly via group calls, among several others that phoned in to wish him a happy birthday.
“Some are saying that he can’t sign or attend to issues. As of Friday, more than 14 crucial issues that involved both the 9th and 10th ODHA assemblies, he was able to address one after the other.
“I never mean any evil. All I wanted was to let the whole world know that Oga is alive and is getting better every day,” he said.
For over two months, Mr Akeredolu has been outside the state and attending to his frail health after handing over power to his deputy, Mr Aiyadatiwa, to ‘act as governor’ on his behalf.
The video came at a time pressure continued to mount over the ill health of the governor as the opposition demanded facts about his health condition following his continued absence from office.