Dr. Kayode Ajulo, OON, a distinguished lawyer and rights activist, has strongly condemned the video that surfaced online, showing the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, in a hospital receiving greetings from a well-wisher on his birth anniversary.
The lawyer said the clip was a violation of the privacy of the Governor as it portrayed him in a vulnerable state. He said it is essential to prioritize the privacy and dignity of private and public figures, especially when they are facing health challenges.
“Sharing such a video of the Governor in a weakened condition is highly insensitive and uncalled for. Irrespective of the rumour making the rounds, his privacy and integrity must be respected especially during this time of health struggles.” He said.
Ajulo stressed that a more respectful approach could have been taken, such as arranging a private meeting or a personal video call to convey greetings from the esteemed well-wishers, particularly the Acting Governor, SSG, the Deji of Akure, the Olowo of Owo Kingdom and other dignitaries.
He said “I maintained 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.”
He emphasized that the picture showing him and his wife was sufficient to assure the public of his well-being, noting that crucial health matters are personal and should not be exploited for political or any other purposes, underscoring the need to maintain ethical standards in public disclosure of information and images.
Ajulo, addressing the duties of the attending medical professionals, said they are held to high ethical standards and are duty-bound to prioritise patient confidentiality. He said allowing the Governor to be filmed in such a state was unethical and could warrant calls for sanctions against the healthcare providers involved, saying it undermined the trust and confidence usually reposed in them during critical times of illness.
“Critical medical care should be managed with utmost professionalism and sensitivity. It is disheartening that medical practitioners could allow such unethical behaviour. Healthcare personnel should be well aware of their ethical obligations to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality because the medical profession prides itself on upholding the Hippocratic Oath, and any breach of this sacred commitment is highly condemned. It is therein appropriate that patient confidentiality and dignity are upheld.” Ajulo added.
The lawyer, in light of the Governror’s extended medical leave, called on the people of Ondo State to rally behind the Governor with more prayers and well-wishes while respecting his right to rest and recover in peace. He also urged government appointees and politicians to refrain from unnecessary political calculations that could further burden the Governor during his period of medical treatment, saying “they should prioritize the welfare of the Governor and the State, allowing him the necessary space and time to focus on his health.”