Olufemi Olaniyi, Ibadan
Former Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s account of the reason for his impeachment and removal from office as untrue.
Obasanjo had alleged the former governor’s rejection of his advice to accommodate the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu and Alhaji Yekini Adeojo caused the crisis, which he said led to his removal. The former President said this on Thursday at the public presentation of ‘Amazing Grace,’ a biography of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Obasanjo said, “I did not know that Ladoja picked up quarrel, except that his becoming governor was due to the grace of God and major contributions of those people – Yekini Adeojo from whom the party structure was wrenched and Chief Adedibu, who spearheaded the whole programme.
“I pleaded with him to make accommodation for them both. He told me that they were all Ibadan people and that they knew how to deal with one another. He subsequently proved himself right as they dealt with one another, and he, Ladoja, came out the worse for it.”
But Ladoja, in a statement by his media aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, on Friday, said Obasanjo’s claims were not correct.
The former governor said he was surprised that a former president could “descend to the extent of fabricating lies just to rewrite history.”
Alao-Akala was Ladoja’s deputy when the Osi Osi Olubadan was removed from office but was eventually reinstated by the Supreme Court. He eventually lost the Peoples Democratic Party governorship ticket to Alao-Akala, who eventually succeeded him.
The statement read, “The former President has forgotten that the nation’s apex court had ruled that ‘there was no impeachment.’
“Obasanjo can be forgiven because he is an old man who may not recollect the past accurately, anymore. If not, why should he say Ladoja became governor in 2003 through the grace of God, Baba Adedibu and Alhaji Adeojo, when the latter also attempted to become governor?
“Did Obasanjo forget that Adeojo contested the PDP primary election which was held on December 24, 2002 at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan?
“Chief Obasanjo, in trying to rewrite history, has forgotten that he told Baba Emmanuel Alayande in Ibadan on his birthday in December 2005 that Senator Ladoja should resign his position as governor, otherwise he would be impeached?
“And, true to his boasts, the illegal act was carried out a few days later, but thank God the impropriety was quashed by the court of highest jurisdiction.”
The former governor described Obasanjo’s claims as “damage control.”
“Let Chief Obasanjo be told, point blank, that no amount of damage control employed, his past is closely hunting him. Ladoja therefore has no regret; he came to serve and he did just that to the best of his ability, the result of which is the love his people have for him to date,” the statement added.