In Ibadan, AGBOOLA BAYO examines the fierce struggle trailing the governorship election in the state between the governor-elect and his main rival, Ladoja, which has heightened tension.
Though the April 11,2015 governorship election has gone for good, there is no gain saying in the fact that the outcome of the election which saw Senator Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi not only winning the election but breaking the 19 years second term jinx in the state by polling 327,300 votes to beat his senior brother, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja the Accord party governorship candidate in the election,who polled 254,510 is presently generating cold was between the two Ibadan senior citizens.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi and Senator Rashidi Ladoja apart from both hailing from Ibadan,the Oyo state capital were both brothers and political allies as Senator Ladoja in 2011 with his Accord party played a major role in stabilizing the administration of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s Action Congress of Nigeria led government to survive the moves by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plots at holding the administration into ransom.
Senator Ladoja in 2011 on smelling the antics of the PDP mandated all his lawmakers in the Oyo state House of Assembly to team up with the ACNlawmakers in the House to have the much needed majority for the Ajimobi’s administration to supress the antics of the PDP.
Governor Ajimobi in return co opted some Accord members into his administration in appreciation of the Senator Ladoja cum Accord party gesture towards stabilizing his administration at least for the first few months in office.
But,the working relationship between the two brothers could not last for more than 30 months resulting in the withdrawal/sacking of the Senator Ladoja’s nominees in Governor Abiola Ajmobi’s administration followed by occasional verbal and media war between the duo particularly towards the just concluded general election .
The political enmity between the two Ibadan senior citizens became more pronounced at the INEC state headquarter’s office in Ibadan during the official announcement of the governorship election when the Accord Party agent and National Secretary of the party, Comrade Nureni Oladipo Adisa refused to sign the election’s final results sheet,saying,“I have the mandate of the party not to sign the results sheet” claiming that the results did not reflect the wishes of the people in the election and that necessary action concerning the elections will be considered by the party.
True to the words of the Accord party National Secretary, Senator Rashidi Ladoja while addressing members of the party at the Accord party state secretariat in Samonda area of Ibadan during which hundreds of the party’s members from across the in state stormed party secretariat to protest against the declaration of Governor Ajimobi as winner of the last Saturday’s governorship election
blocking part of the Samonda ~ UI road chanting anti INEC and Governor Ajimobi’s songs accusing INEC of manipulating the outcome of the election with Senator Ladoja publicly rejecting the overall result of the governorship polls,saying, “the result is unacceptable to the people of the state”.
Senator Ladoja minced no word in telling his supporters that he will reclaim his “stolen mandate” from Governor Abiola Ajimobi in the next 3 months through the election Tribunal, claiming that there are “more than enough evidences” with him which his lawyers are presently working on for presentation before the election petition tribunal to reclaim the “stolen mandate”.
Senator Ladoja told his supporters that the governorship election was allegedly rigged in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate and that was why “the masses in the state are not jubilating,because it was not the true reflection of their votes”, claiming that the last governorship election result was “fraudulent and does not represent the mind of the people of Oyo state and it is unacceptable to the people of the state”.
The Accord party governorship candidate however frowned at the reported harassment and intimidation of Accord members across the state for not voting for Governor Ajimobi during the governorship poll.
by APC members suspected to be governor’s supporters vowing to lead a protest should the harassment and intimidation of Accord members continues.
Apparently irked by the stand of Senator Ladoja and his Accord party on his re election,Governor Abiola Ajimobi handed down a strong warning to Senator Ladoja and others that cares to listen in the Accord party on the plans to protest the alleged molestation and intimidation of the party’s members by the APC members, saying his administration would not tolerate any form of violence from any politician who lost in the last election in the state, adding,“surprisingly, the Accord Party has been complaining that it would go to court. No problem. If you look at the results of the election and the conduct, it was the freest and fairest election ever held. Everybody said it, all his agents signed at the polling units. It is only at the final collation center that they did not sign. Let him go to court”.
“Some people are sore losers, some are very sportsmanly. If he says he will resort to violence as reported, we will not tolerate it. Oyo state is a state where nobody is above the law. If he has complaints, let him go to the police to complain. But if he says he wants to lead some people to resort to violence in the state, we will deal with him.
We don’t want violence in Oyo State again. Nobody is too big for the law in Oyo State. Anyone who is so desperate that even when defeated, he is crying about his intention to cause problems, he should follow due process and should obey the law of the land. He is not too big to obey the law. I guarantee you, should anybody lead any group to cause violence, the law will take its full weight to deal with them, I assure them,” he said.0
Governor Ajimobi pointed out that his administration is ready to sustain the reigning peace and stability in and across Oyo state, adding,
“we brought peace and security to Oyo State. We established that in the state and we will not fold our arms and allow any individual to destroy it”.
“If you look at the results of the election, APC had 25% in 29 local governments. Other parties did not meet the statutory requirement of 25%. Accord Party had only 17%. We won across six political zones out of seven. Accord and Labour won one each. Where is the spread of Accord Party? He did not win in Oyo, Ogbomoso, Oke Ogun I & II, and
Ibadan city zones. He did not even meet the statutory requirement. Let him go to court, we are waiting”.
Joining in the tango, the All Progressives Congress (APC) asked Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to have a rethink over his alleged plan to instigate post election crisis as a way to protest his loss at the poll and his subsequent rejection of the outcomes of the poll which the party described as free, fair and credible unlike.
The APC in a statement by its Director of Publicity and Strategy in Oyo state, Mr. Olawale Sadare,said, “having tried unsuccessfully to railroad himself into power again, Senator Ladoja is still determined to truncate the peace of the state. He has moved a step further from discrediting the free, fair and credible elections conducted in the state last Saturday by mobilizing his supporters and vulnerable youths to embarked on misplaced protests in parts of Ibadan, the state capital.
“He held a meeting in Ibadan where he told his supporters about the resolve not to accept the outcome of the recently concluded polls. Sources at the meeting informed us that Ladoja charged his supporters to do everything possible to wage war against the re-elected governor and his party men in the mode of harassment, blackmail and violent attacks.
Ladoja’s supporters demonstrated their threat to public peace when they went to town after the meeting and began to attack innocent citizens. They wounded some people and destroyed many vehicles in the process as we have it on good authority that the trend would continue to enable them achieve their aim of making the state ungovernable for Senator Ajimobi.
Therefore, we urged members of the public including leaders and members of the APC to be watchful and vigilant so as not to fall prey of the rampaging supporters of Ladoja. We equally call on security agencies to beam their searchlight on the former governor and his supporters with a view to preventing them from doing further havoc to public peace”.
To political observers in and cross the state, the major concern now is can Senator Ladoja who in 2011 against all odds stabilsed Governor Ajimobi’s administration in his first term in office by mandating all the 8 Accord members in the Oyo state House of Assembly to team up with the APC lawmakers in the House for smooth running of Governor Ajimobi’s administration to frustrate the moves by the rampaging PDP then posing as serious opposition to the new coming Governor Abiola Ajimobi Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)led administration in the state now turn around to act the other way round in 2015 by turning out to be a major obstacle to his kinsmen second term in office.
The election petition tribunal will soon start its sittings and all eyes will surely be on the tribunal concerning the Accord party’s petition on the governorship election issue, an indication that time will surely dictates what will become of the on going political drama in Oyo state also known as the pace setters state .