By Toyese Oladejo
National Leader of the Accord Party and former Oyo State governor, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, has given a vivid account of of his meeting with Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, describing it as ‘a normal political meeting’.
Ladoja who gave the details of the meeting with Dame Patience Jonathan in a chat at his Bodija home in Ibadan, maintained that he was duly invited by the First Lady and as a responsible and respectful citizen of the country, he had no option than to heed her call.
“The First Lady came to Oyo State and I believe that it was in the course of his visit to Ibadan that he believed that Ladoja holds the ace as far as Oyo State politics is concerned,” he said.
The Accord Leader explained further that he did not query the First Lady on the purpose of the meeting, adding that he was purely invited by Dame Patience Jonathan.
“It was in one national newspaper that I saw that Akala and Teslim were going to the meeting too but since I was invited by the First Lady and as a respectful individual I don’t have to query her,” he added.
Continuing, Senator Ladoja revealed that it was at the meeting that Dame Jonathan asked the duo of former governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Alaka and the former Senate leader, Teslim Folarin to close ranks with him since all of them were from the Peoples Democratic Party so that they would be able to boot out the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) from the state.
The former state governor disclosed that it was on that premise that he was reminded that there were other governorship aspirants from the PDP and they be allowed to consult their constituencies.
“I am not desperate to go back to the PDP but was invited by the First Lady. Accord Party in Oyo State is not a bride because it is a full fledged party that is ready to contest and win the 2015 general elections.
On the overtures by the APC, Ladoja averred that it was the National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that was all out to lure him to come and contest in the APC but asserted that Accord remains Accord in Oyo State.
Senator Ladoja added that he was not desperate to rule as various interest groups, politicians, leaders, artisans and public servants were on his neck to fix the state, having seen the woeful performance of the incumbent Governor Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
“I want us in Oyo State to have a succession plan so that there would be continuity which would stimulate socio and economic development in the state, insisting that the APC- led government in the state has pauperized the masses in the last 4 years.
“What more do we need to say when it was impossible for the Ajimobi government to fix the Apete Bridge almost 4 years after its collapse. Look at education, Oyo State came a distant 24th position sharing line with educationally disadvantaged states like Borno, Jigawa, Yobe, and others. And you know that aside from Lagos, Oyo State has a high number of private schools, so if you removed this from 19 percent, we’ll probably be talking of 4 to 5 per cent,” he lamented.
Senator Ladoja therefore clarified the fact that the Accord Party would contest on its banner and would not form alliance with any political party.
On the insinuation that Accord is only popular in Ibadan, the former governor described it as total falsehood, stressing that political heavyweights from Oke-Ogun, Oyo, Ibarapa and others are now in the party saying “our party Accord is the party of choice of the good people of Oyo State and I can assure you that Accord would win the 2015 general elections convincingly in Oyo State.”