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Adedibuís loyalists scramble for Ladojaís position

Posted by By SINA FADARE on 2006/01/08 | Views: 359 |

Adedibuís loyalists scramble for Ladojaís position

AS Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State battles to survive an impeachment proceeding against him, loyalists of his estranged godfather, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, touted to be the strongman of Ibadan politics, have begun subtle campaigns to replace him.

AS Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State battles to survive an impeachment proceeding against him, loyalists of his estranged godfather, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, touted to be the strongman of Ibadan politics, have begun subtle campaigns to replace him.

Sunday Champion gathered that the move was orchestrated by alleged decision of leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to show Ladoja the exit door from Oyo State Government House.

Indeed, Sunday Champion investigation indicates that top echelon of the party, rising from a meeting at Abuja, decided to offload Ladoja and replace him with his deputy, Otunba Alao Akala, a decision which is said to be at variance with the wishes of Alhaji Adedibu.

The party, leaders had met twice in the past week in the bid to save the Oyo situation but came to the conclusion, that Ladoja has to be eased off, for peace to return to the state.

However, their choice of Akala, is at variance with Adedibuís position Adebibu is said to be at variance with Akala, whom he slapped at the national convention of the PDP in Abuja for not greeting him (Adidibu).

As Sunday Champion gathered, because of Adedibuís disapproval of Akalaís ascendancy to the office, his loyalists, most of them serving commissioners have turned his Ibadan home into a new pilgrimage center in order to seek his blessings to take over Ladojaís office.

Meanwhile, an impeccable source within the party in Abuja, who confirmed position of caucus of the party on the Ladoja matter said none of the members present spoke in favour of the embattled governor. He said they rather emphasised his stubborn disposition on earlier decisions which they contended had ridiculed the party.

The caucus was also said to have directed national secretariat of the party to liaise with its Oyo State counterpart and hold a meeting with stakeholders in the state in preparation to fill vacancies to be created with the impeachment of Ladoja which they said should be accomplished within two weeks.

Sunday Champion gathered that the decision turned out in favour of the Adedibu camp which popped champagne on hearing it and vowed to carry the impeachment assignment out within the stipulated time.

Meanwhile, some party members, who were never sidetracked by the Ladoja administration are now warming up and dusting their credentials in anticipation of some juicy appointments coming their way in the event the impeachment sails through.

It is recalled that last Wednesday, spokesman of the Adedibu group, Hon. Babatunde Eesuola had said "there is no going back until Governor Ladoja is impeached."

According to him "the impeachment process is on course and the whole world would soon know who has interest of the state at heart."

Following the declaration, a seven man panel, headed by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) was inaugurated to investigate allegations against the governor.

The embattled governor, it will also be recalled has in the past few months being involved in protracted crisis with his God father, a situation that put the governor on the edge.

The crisis crystalised recently when 18 out of the 31 lawmakers in the state served the governor an impeachment notice accusing him of fourteen offences bordering on gross misconduct and misappropriation of public fund.

Specifically, Ladoja was accused of using Account No. 00849378601106 opened in his personal name at the Standard Trust Bank on assumption of office in 2003 while he was still a director at the bank and later converted public funds, particularly the 33 local governments share from the excess crude oil windfall totalling N1.99 billion between August 2003 to May 2005, to the account. Prior to the impeachment moves, chieftains of the party had intervened in the matter with little or no success.

A four-man committee of the PDP, led by Alhaji Shema, Deputy National chairman North, met with Adedibu and Ladoja in order to douse tension brewing in the state.

At the meeting, Adedibu emphasised that before truce could be achieved between them, the state television should stop referring to Chief Jacob Adetoro as the chairman of PDP in the state.

Secondly, he demanded the unconditional release of a former state chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (aka Tokyo), from detention.

Unfortunately, after a series of meetings held by Shema, and his group, the situation became worse and the political gladiators decided to remain in their trenches.

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