By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The eighth-day fidau of the late Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Omowale Kuye, on Friday united Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the gubernatorial candidate of the Accord Party in the last general election, Senator Rashidi Ladoja.
While Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged victorious at the April 11, 2015 governorship election, Ladoja who came second challenged the outcome of the election at the tribunal, which eventually affirmed Ajimobi’s victory which Ladoja had since appealed against.
However, the political rivalry between the two seems to have thawed on Friday as they openly embraced each other and exchanged pleasantries at the Ikolaba, Ibadan residence of the late Federal Director of Budget, to the admiration of eminent personalities and clerics at the occasion.
The ceremony provided Ajimobi another opportunity to tell the people of the state that he was not in any way at loggerheads with Ladoja whom he referred as his elder brother, saying that politics apart, the bond between them was still intact.
“Politics is a funny game which pits brothers against brothers, friends against friends and even majority ethnic groups against minority groups. And this is exactly what has happened between me and my brother, Senator Ladoja.
“Even when you don’t want to quarrel, your supporters will be inciting you to quarrel. Such is the nature of politics. Politics makes siblings to go against one another.
“But honestly, politics apart, there is no personal animosity between us. Senator Ladoja is my brother; I will never fight him,” he said.
The governor advised political leaders to eschew bitterness and not to succumb to the antics of their supporters to cause disaffection amongst them.
Extolling the late Chief Kuye, he described him as a role model, an extremely brilliant, honest and candid man who had a lot of integrity.
Extending his condolences to the family and widow of the deceased, Chief (Mrs.) Priscilla Kuye, Gov. Ajimobi encouraged them to take solace in the good legacies left behind by the deceased, saying his great works would surely outlive him.
Earlier at a lecture, the Chief Imam of the University of Ibadan Central Mosque, Prof. Abdur-Rahman Oloyede, admonished supporters of different political parties to emulate the harmonious relationship between Ladoja and Ajimobi despite their political differences.
He stressed the need for political supporters to stop causing crises and killing one another when indeed, their leaders have meeting points where political differences were settled amicably.
“Irrespective of our earthly possession, we will all die. Whatever position we are holding, we will leave it one day. We should strive to leave good legacies that would justify our earthly sojourn,” Oloyede said.
Dignitaries present at the occasion included former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Gen. Raji Rasaki (rtd.), former Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Nurudeen Adekola, a former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, and renowned industrialist, Chief Kola Daisi.
Others were former Minister of Sports, Gen. I.B.M. Haruna, the Chairman Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Dr. Lekan Are, a former Minister of Sports, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, Chief Kareem Latunji, wife of a former Governor of Oyo State, Chief (Mrs.) Mutiat Ladoja as well as all Ibadan high chiefs and members of the Olubadan-in-Council.