8 Years After: Untold Story of How Ladoja Was Impeached as Oyo State Governor Revealed
Eight years after the controversial impeachment of Senator Rashidi Ladoja from office as the executive governor of Oyo State, fresh facts are emerging on the surreptitious roles played by a serving Senator from the state (names withheld) which facilitated the plots believed to have been employed by the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, to take his own pound of flesh from the governor having felt short changed in the scheme of things as against the agreement between the duo prior to the victory of Ladoja in the 2003 gubernatorial election.
Ladoja, as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defeated the incumbent governor, Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina of the then Alliance for Democracy (AD), with the support and backing of the combined forces of PDP gladiators from within and outside the state ably controlled by Alh. Lamidi Adedibu whose foot soldiers included most dreaded leaders and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
News had filtered in on how Lateef Salako a.k.a Eleweomo, the slain chairman of the NURTW in the state, stormed the Oyo State House of Assembly in company of an army of gun wielding members of his Union on January 12, 2006 and carried out the illegal impeachment which was immediately implemented by the security agents apparently doing the bidding of the Obasanjo Presidency. But fresh facts uncovered by this medium revealed that the main actors of the plot which eventually led to the ouster of Ladoja were more than Adedibu, 18 members of the State House of Assembly and the Presidency as a serving Senator from the state also played vital roles and details of which was hitherto kept away from the knowledge of the public.
A source close to Molete residence of the late Adedibu told this medium that the said Senator was not only a member of the PDP but was also very close to the controversial politician at that time. “He (the lawmaker) was the chief plotter as he provided the blueprint which was used to remove Ladoja. Baba Adedibu set up a ‘Council of Elders’ which comprised of himself, late Alh. Olopoenia, Pa Gbadamosi and an academic who is currently aspiring to be governor on the platform of the PDP while the team received frequent guidance from the Senator who was relied upon in view of his career background.
“As the team received leeway from the Senator, Baba Adedibu would order concerned mercenaries to swing into action and implement same as this was done step-by-step until the main goal was achieved eventually. The same Senator even bankrolled the plot with Ten Million Naira which he paid to Baba in two installments. The first installment of Five Million Naira was sent through his personal driver and personal assistant who is now deceased but I cannot say precisely when he brought the balance though Baba later told me he didn’t disappoint.” The source said.
Asked what incentive the lawmaker was promised by Adedibu before he could buy into the idea; the source who was a member of Molete Kitchen Cabinet during the heydays of Adedibu’s Garrison Command said that the politician was motivated by his own conviction that he would realize his gubernatorial ambition the ‘civilian coup’. “He had come to Baba Adedibu to be made a governor shortly after Ladoja defeated Lam Adesina in 2003 governorship election and he kept playing a good boy to Baba and his hangers-on with a view to winning their support ostensibly ahead of 2007.
“Being a smart political player, he saw an opportunity in the crisis of confidence between Adedibu and Ladoja which he tried to explore without being noticed by the larger populace. He would pay some visits to Molete in the daytime and at night while Baba would give him audience but in the true sense of it some of us who were very close to Adedibu knew the permutations on ground did not favor him. When Akala was sworn-in as the governor, following the impeachment of Ladoja, I learned Baba considered the said man for the deputy governor slot but he declined for personal reasons. He was quoted to have said that he could not be a deputy to an Akala ‘who is academically deficient and morally bankrupt’.
“Meanwhile, he was hoping that the 2007 governorship ticket of the PDP would be given to him a la carte but the table turned against him when President Obasanjo called Baba to warn against the choice of a candidate who ‘feels he is too wise’. He was jolted by the decision to field Akala as the party’s candidate in the 2007 elections as against his expectations and this landed him in the hospital as a result of shock when the news got to him through a phone call from Adedibu while being chauffeur-driven on a popular street in the heart of Ibadan- the state capital.” The source added.
This medium was also reliably informed that the former governor who is also the leader of Accord Party seeking to return to the seat of the state governor in 2015 could not be said to be aware of the inglorious roles played by the lawmaker who now parades himself as one of his loyalists. An aide to Sen. Ladoja, who pleaded for anonymity, told this medium that he was not aware of the development and could not say whether or not his boss knew about it as well.
“In all honesty, I cannot tell you I have heard the story before now and I don’t know whether Oga has any knowledge of it but I can conveniently tell you that we shall investigate and advise him (Ladoja) accordingly. We all know him (the lawmaker) to be a cunning man but in politics, you can’t do without any character since it is a game of number. We might say that old things have passed away but one must be conscious of the fact a leopard can never change the spots on its skin.” The aide said.
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