The All Progressives Congress (APC), Oyo State chapter, has asked former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to return a cash of $1.2m which he allegedly received from the Presidency to mobilize voters in the state to support the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan in the February 28, 2015 polls.
The remark was contained in a statement issued in Ibadan on Sunday and signed by the APC State Director of Publicity, Olawale Sadare.
The cash was said to have been delivered to Ladoja a few days after the PDP Presidential campaign rally in Ibadan in partial fulfillment of the pledge made by the president in exchange for the former governor’s agreement to work for the electoral success of Dr. Jonathan.
APC said the need for Ladoja to refund the money became imperative due to the way he (Ladoja) had been trying to distance himself from the president due to the latter’s dwindling electoral fortune and the fear of the electorate not voting for him (Ladoja) if he publicly identifies with the president.
“Check his interview with the Tribune on Sunday. He denied having any pact with the president. When asked whether he had been campaigning for the president, he denied ever doing so. If he was reluctant to identify with Jonathan in the public, why collect his dollars, with which he has been shoring the financial base of the Accord Party after his financiers whom he refused to give tickets abandoned his party and funding dried up?” the APC asked.
While providing the antecedent of the money given to Ladoja, Sadare said that in the said interview, Ladoja confirmed that the deal was indeed brokered by the wife of the President.
“It would be recalled that Sen. Ladoja was at the Aso Villa recently where he had gone to lobby the President’s wife for support on his surreptitious desire to hijack the PDP gubernatorial ticket of Oyo State. Although he failed in his bid, Ladoja didn’t leave Abuja empty-handed as he was able to strike a mouth-watering deal with the presidency which would involve him getting an undisclosed amount to mobilize people to vote for the president on February 14, 2015.
“President Jonathan, who visited Ibadan recently to launch his re-election campaign, was jolted by the scanty crowd which attended the Mapo rally and he was said to be dissatisfied with the explanations given by his hatchet men on ground. This apparently made him to remember the existing pact between him and Ladoja who had been recommended by a serving female minister as a ‘badly needed material’ for the Oyo State project.
“Sources close to Sen. Ladoja confirmed to us that three men from the Presidency visited Ladoja in Ibadan a couple of days ago and delivered to him a cash of $1.2m. Those who brought the money left the state capital disappointed because their host did not give them a dime, at least, as visiting guests of a former governor considered worthy of Mr. President’s patronage.
“Meanwhile, the Accord Party gubernatorial candidate had hurriedly conveyed a meeting with a few trusted political associates and told them to commence working for Jonathan’s re-election in earnest. This development could be responsible for the statement credited to one of the AP’s senatorial candidate who said on a radio interview, monitored in Ibadan, that his party would work for Jonathan.
“In as much as we need to respect Sen. Ladoja’s decision to play his politics the treacherous way he likes, we challenge him to tell the public why he always chooses to be Janus-faced in his political dealings. He has to be reminded that the collective destiny of the good people of the state cannot be mortgaged by any selfish politician as the resolve of the people is Change or nothing,” Sadare stated.