A former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, said Friday that former President Olusegun Obasanjo got it all wrong on the reason for his impeachment by the state House of Assembly in 2005.
Obasanjo, speaking at the launch of the autobiography of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala on Thursday, had claimed that Ladoja was impeached because he was ‘ungrateful’ to the late Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and Alhaji Yekinni Adeojo both of whom he said were instrumental to making him (Ladoja) governor.
But reacting to the Obasanjo claim Friday, Ladoja said he was surprised that the former president obviously descended to “an unprecedented level of a fabricator by telling lies” against him.
The former governor in a statement by his media aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, said his impeachment was a kangaroo arrangement by Obasanjo and his stooge.
He also chastised the former president for denying that it was his (Obasanjo) failed third term agenda that prompted the illegal impeachment.
He said: “The former president has forgotten that the nation’s apex court had ruled that ‘there was no impeachment’.
“Obasanjo can be forgiven because he is an old man who may not recollect the past accurately, anymore. If not, why should he say that Ladoja became governor in 2003 through the grace of God, Baba Adedibu and Alhaji Adeojo when the latter also attempted to become governor.
“Did Obasanjo forget that Adeojo contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election which was held on 24th December 2002 at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan?
“Chief Obasanjo, in trying to rewrite history, has forgotten that he told Baba Emmanuel Alayande in Ibadan on his birthday in December 2005 that Senator Ladoja should resign his position as governor, otherwise he would be impeached?
“And, true to his boasts, the illegal act was carried out a few days later. But thank God the impropriety was quashed by the court of highest jurisdiction.
“Let Chief Obasanjo be told point-blank that no amount of damage control employed, his past is closely hunting him.”
Ladoja said he has no regret for he “came to serve and he did just that to the best of his ability the result of which is the love his people have for him, till-date.”
Obasanjo at the launch of “Amazing Grace” had confronted Akala, saying: “You pointed out on page 140 that Ladoja picked up a quarrel with me for the reason of a non-existent third term.
“I didn’t know that Ladoja picked up a quarrel that his becoming a governor was due to the grace of God and major contributions of two people- Yekinni Adeojo from whom the party structure was wretched and Chief Adedibu who spearheaded the whole programme.
“I pleaded with him to make accommodation for both. He told me that they were all Ibadan people and they knew how to deal with themselves. He subsequently proved himself right as they dealt with themselves and he, Ladoja, came out the worse for it.”
Alao-Akala was Ladoja’s deputy and also served as governor when his boss was impeached. Alao-Akala also succeeded Ladoja in office as governor in 2007.