By bashir adefaka
MR. Adeolu Adeleke, ex-Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly and now Director-General, Senator Rasheed Ladoja Campaign Organisation, speaks on political developments in the state.
Former Governor Rasheed Ladoja is working hard to return to Agodi Government House. Why did he leave PDP for Accord Party in trying to achieve this goal?
He moved from PDP to Accord Party based on the clamour by the people of Oyo State.
But some of his supporters claimed they were not carried along in the senator’s decision to defect. Don’t you think this is dangerous?
Let’s wait and see how the event will unfold. The truth is that a committee was set up to look into the various political parties where he can actualise his ambition of returning as governor of the state.
I was a member of that committee and it was headed by a former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Dele Adigun and all members of the committee agreed that we should go for Accord Party in view of the hydra-headed crises within PDP.
What do you think will happen to the name and image Senator Ladoja has built as a foundation member of PDP and a very prominent member of the party’s Board of Trustees?
To the best of my knowledge, no political party is written in the Constitution of Nigeria. So, it is just an association or group of people. He is a founding member of that party but because of the injustice that was meted out to him, the best thing for him is to move out to the party the committee agreed upon because he has to honour the wish of the people and the wish of the Oyo State people was that he should move from PDP, which is what he has done.
What should Oyo State people expect from Ladoja in the event that he scales the electioneering hurdles back to the seat of power?
When he was there as governor between 2003 and 2007, of course, we all know his achievements despite the distortion by some people who enjoyed the support of a former president. Up till today, the people of Oyo State are still looking for Ladoja to be at the helms of affairs as governor because of his numerous achievements all of which have nearly been bastardised by the present governor.
But he is going back to that office to improve on what he did when he was there as governor and to right the wrongs in the state.
And, I need to say this that Senator Ladoja is going back to the Government House not to witch-hunt anybody but to face the business of governance squarely and deliver the goods appropriately to the people throughout the state. This is important because some elite in the state are already expressing the fear and are, therefore, jittery that if he gets there he will be playing the politics of vilification or vendetta. No! The issue on the ground is more than that.
With the myriad of problems in the state, do you think somebody like Ladoja will have been soliciting for the votes of the people only for him to get into office as governor and begin to concern himself with political vilification at the expense of good governance in the society? He is not going there for that; he is going there to serve the people more.
In view of the various political challenges now, there is a contradiction here. Ladoja was said to have used the machinery of government to campaign and win election for Senator Abiola Ajimobi although the victory was allegedly hijacked but the same Ajimobi is in the race for Agodi on a separate platform. What do you think this portends for Ladoja’s chances?
One thing I can say authoritatively is that Ladoja is not an ordinary candidate. So, let’s wait and see. But when we get to the bridge, we shall cross it.
Now talking about yourself as a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, you faced many challenges at that time by the people alleged to be thugs sponsored by a highly-placed individual. What is your account of that situation?
The experience of that time was very, very traumatic, but I give glory to God and thank the people and the judiciary for their support and, of course, the press, that I was able to overcome the problem. However, I am never known for timidity. I am a man of courage and so I don’t run away from challenges. The moment I commit my affairs into the hands of God, I fear nobody.
Is that why Ladoja picked you as his campaign organisation’s director-general?
I had done it in the past. I had led His Excellency to an unprecedented victory in the past and this one will not be an exception by the special grace of God and with the support of the people of Oyo State.
But the Ladoja group has been accused of confusing Governor Akala so that he is not able to concentrate on the business of governance.
We are not distracting the Akala administration from performing. Are we disturbing them from allocating funds? Are we disturbing them from sharing funds? Have we heard it or read it on the pages of newspapers that, for once, thugs invaded the Government House or Governor’s Office since he (Akala) became governor? No! But the point is that, if you are not a God-sent man, there is nothing you can do that will make you to achieve.