Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has said lies and character assassination should not be found among statesmen, especially those who have had the privilege of administering a state government.
He made this known in a reaction issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, to an interview former Governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, granted to the Tribune and published on Sunday.
Ladoja had alleged that Ajimobi and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made overtures to him to be given the gubernatorial ticket of the party while Ajimobi goes to the Senate.
“The truth is that Ladoja has become used to spinning untruth, which has become a way of life. While we see lies as abhorrent, especially for anyone who has risen that high in life to the former governor, it is like a fisherman who has seen so many shrimps that a fish is not new to him.
However, anyone who is even barely educated would know that Ladoja was on his familiar turf of lying. Isn’t it illogical that a sitting governor would be asked to vacate his seat for someone he beat to the third place in the 2011 elections and that same sitting governor will gladly go to the home of his ‘nemesis’ and gleefully hand over his mandate to him?
“Again, it is clear that, in telling this lie, Ladoja merely wants to recreate the absurd position he found himself in 2007 when, as a sitting governor, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took away his ticket in his very presence and handed it over to his deputy. It is apparent that he lacked political sagacity and the so-called people’s support, which were responsible for this political hemlock handed over to him to drink. This also led to his phony removal by NURTW officials led by a common thug who is now late.
“Isn’t it a negation of common sense that Ajimobi, who was a one-time distinguished senator and a Principal Officer of the senate who completed his tenure, as against Ladoja who didn’t, would prefer a senate slot that he once occupied to the prospect of continuing as the Chief Executive Officer of a state? Ladoja must have thought that Oyo State people and Nigerians have no sense of appreciation of logic and common sense,” the governor said.
The governor also picked hole in Ladoja’s claim that he was not arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stating that he was merely on a “roller coaster of comedy.
“Nigerians will, with this statement, appreciate the real comedian that Ladoja is. If he meant to demonstrate his naivety of semantics, he did it so well. For his information, he cannot rewrite the fact that he was arrested and detained for mismanaging the proceeds of the sales of shares belonging to the state. In his defence in a newspaper advertorial, he said he did not personally refund money to the EFCC. Does he have to personally refund money? He is the chief culprit of the alleged sleaze, and if any money was refunded by his co-accused, he cannot exonerate himself from it. Moreover, we put it to him that he and his co-travellers in the shares boat refunded money in excess of N500 million,” the statement said.
Stating that Ajimobi was yet to receive the so-called Ladoja’s letter asking the governor to apologise for accusing him of the refund, the statement said the former governor was merely buying time as he does not have any case to pursue in court.
On the allegation that the Ajimobi government reneged on the agreement he had with the government to give him and his party 20 per cent of all appointments in the state, the governor said Ladoja was being driven by political covetousness.
“Could Ladoja, known to be arrogant and unbending, during his time as governor, ever concede this absurd demand to anyone? Was it not a similar demand from the strongman of Ibadan politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, for a chunk of Ladoja’s security vote that led to the spiral of violence which consumed so many lives in the state and which eventually truncated his regime? If Ajimobi gave in to this demand and only had to stop it on account of Ladoja benefitting from government in terms of contracts and patronage, as well as having his people in our government, yet attacking same government, then Ajimobi demands commendation for accommodation of and forgiveness of his enemies and not this shameless ingratitude that is being demonstrated by Ladoja,” the governor said.
The governor counseled Ladoja to embark on an issued-based campaign rather than that of calumny, stating that the people of the state were too sophisticated and knowledgeable to be fed with a pot-pourri of lies and indefensible character assassination as contained in the Ladoja interview.