Why I keep changing parties —Ladoja
There is an ongoing realignment of political structures ahead of general elections in Oyo State as many of political gladiators are seeking. Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja (born 25 September ) is a businessman who became governor By , Ladoja had become a director of Standard Trust Bank Limited. roads leading to the main government offices to prevent violence from supporters of Adebayo Alao-Akala and Lamidi Adedibu during his reinstatement. The people of Oyo State trust me; they just want to know where they are You can't say that because Ladoja scored 29 per cent and Alao-Akala scored 14 . candidate, Atiku Abubakar, what's your relationship with him now?.
I will tell you that what happened in is different from what is happening now. After the election and the governor scored 32 per cent, I had 29 per cent, while Adebayo Alao-Akala had 14 per cent. Teslim Folarin had seven per cent and Seyi Makinde had five per cent. Some people felt then that had I, Alao-Akala, Teslim and Makinde pulled our resources together, we would have won the election.
But people tend to forget that politics is not arithmetic. We discovered that the decisions they wanted us to take did not go down well with us. So, we pulled out of PDP. As I always say, politics is personal and the fact is the number of people actively involved in politics is just 10 per cent of the people that would vote. In most cases, the voters are the ones that determine who they want to vote.
So, it is not about the number of people in a party that matters, what is important is the people that would vote. In ZLP, our winning strength is in the masses. There are insinuations that your decision to move to ZLP was part of your game plan.
We told him that the happenings in ADC did not make us feel comfortable. One of the issues was that the Unity Forum decided to choose a deputy governor for Lanlehin without consulting with him. What reminds us that APC is still strong in the state is the last election held in the state.
When the deputy governor was chosen, I said this was not right. How could you have chosen the deputy governor for the governor without consulting him?
I told them I chose Alao-Akala; nobody chose him for me. So, we felt that our chances of winning the election with that arrangement were very remote.
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We actually zoned the deputy governor to Oke Ogun, but it came from Iseyin. With your movement to the ZLP, do you think you can dislodge the ruling party? By the grace of God, we will dislodge them.
I always tell people that a team of nine people in a football match can defeat a team of 11 people, particularly if there is one out of the 11 that is not thinking along with the others.
How do you see that? Some of the people that came with us to ADC from the Unity Group told us that they were the ones who anchored the rigging of the election. There is this feeling that each time you come up with a party, you raised it to a meaningful point with all the structures in place and would suddenly pull out.
How do you explain that? We felt like if we could come together, we could make something happen. But to make things happen in politics is not just about the numbers, but the coalition. If there is no cohesion, there is nothing you can do. But there were allegations that you left PDP because you could not hijack the structure of the party.
Is that also not true? Which structure are you talking about? Who has the structure in PDP? You could have asked them over there this same question.
I want the people of Oyo State to have the best government they could get. When we joined PDP, the only major position we got was the secretary. They were the ones, who started saying there was a parallel congress when there was none. If you think that you are wise to use the backdoor to get what you want, I am not a party to that.
So, where was the structure to hijack? When the Makarfi group was there, he raised the issue of harmonisation and it was discovered that AP had only seven positions while the PDP had about 15 positions. So, where is the hijack? I am not interested in structure; I am interested in hard work. What loopholes have you observed in this current government that ZLP would block if it wins the election in ?
Let us start from education. What is the current rating of the state? Talking about roads, apart from the major roads, did they construct any road in the interior parts of the state?
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If you say these people know how to use publicity very well, no problem. But the people of Oyo State will be shown the facts. Can you compare it with what we have now? We were always between second and third in Nigeria when we were in government. But today, the state is ranked 29th. We ranked as the best state university in the South-West and the fifth best in Nigeria. In our time, many people withdrew their children from private schools to public schools.
The facts are there. We raised the standard of education. The highest number of students per class was Today, a teacher I interrogated, who did not know I was Ladoja, said they had about to students in one class.
You were one of the people who fought to wrestle power from Ajimobi inbut the man emerged winner and became the governor for the second time. What are your chances in ? They have failed to realise that the machinery of APC is very strong in Oyo State because Governor Ajimobi does not use party structure to win elections. If you look at it, you would discover that most of the people in Unity Group are former caretaker chairmen in APC, who believed they were used to wrestle power and were dumped.
He has forgotten that he actually empowered them when he was using them. So, they were not the ones who wrestled power. It was he who used them as tools to win the election. At that time, there were 33 local government areas, but today, we have So, the area covered by each person is small. It is better for you to realise that the machinery of APC is strong and you have to strengthen yourself to face it. Of course, we will vote for Jonathan.
My supporters know this and they will vote for Jonathan and I am convinced he will win this election because people have seen through the lies of the APC. From the outset, the Labour Party structure has been very solid, because we laid a very good foundation. A majority of people in the PDP came together and teamed up with the foot soldiers in the APC; and together we laid a good foundation for the party. We have a very good structure and we have also fielded good candidates for all elections.
You and former Governor Rashidi Ladoja and the sitting governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, are in the race for the governorship seat.
The three of you are not new to the people, why do you think you stand out? Without mincing words, among the three of us that have served as governor, I am the most experienced candidate.
Are you are more experienced than, Senator Ladoja? I am not saying that he is not my boss, he is still my boss and he will forever be my boss, because I served under him as deputy governor. But what I am telling you is that I am the most experienced candidate in this contest, if you try to distinguish between seniority and experience.
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What I am saying is that nobody has the kind of political antecedents and the kind of political experience that I have. What kind of experience are you talking about? When you talk about politics, experience is very important and I will give an example.
My boss, Ladoja never won any election without me. I was there as his deputy when he won in and my running mate today, Alhaji Sarafadeen Ali, was also there when he won election; he became Secretary to the State Government when I was deputy governor.
After that, Senator Ladoja has never won any election. But without him, I have won elections. I also became a deputy governor. Today, I am the only deputy governor in Oyo State that has ever become a governor; these make me to be over and above other contestants in this election. I remain the only person since the state was created, who has two photographs in the Secretariat Building; as a deputy governor and later as a governor. When you contested election inyou had a good showing electorally in other zones of the state except Ibadan, which controls 55 per cent of the votes.
What do you think will go differently for you this time around? I had good showing across the state, including Ibadan. In fact, what I polled in Ibadan inI did not poll up to that in Go and look at the records. Also, I want you to forget about what you called controlling 55 per cent of the votes in Oyo State, because I know where you are going.
You are going to say that the 55 per cent votes belong to Ibadan indigenes. The 55 percent you refer to does not belong to Ibadan alone. When people say that, they try to bring up what they refer to as Ibadan indigenes and I can tell you that many people who live in Ibadan are not Ibadan indigenes, this is a cosmopolitan city.
Going by your campaigns so far across Ibadan, do you think the people of the city, either residents or indigenes, will vote for your party? This time around, it is not only about the party; the election will not be about the Labour Party. Yes, I am in Labour Party but it will be about individuals who are tested and trusted; the people are going to vote for individuals, they will not vote for parties. If the election were to be about parties, then we will be making a lot of mistakes.
A lot of people will not vote for parties; if it were to be about parties, I will not be where I am today and I will not tell you that I am on top of the situation in Ibadan and the state. If it is about parties, anybody can just come up and he will win. If you want to know, our democracy has grown to the point that people want to know the person they are voting for; they want to know his pedigree, his antecedents and so on.
They want to know if he is someone that is going to give them problem or someone that will listen to them; people want to vote for character.
They want to vote for integrity and not political parties. But you just have to use a platform and from what we have seen so far, Labour Party has been able to gather men and women of integrity; people that have been tested and trusted. Look at it from the example of my running mate and myself. You are aware that he was once a local government chairman and once a Secretary to the State Government. So, we know what it takes to govern Oyo State; we know Oyo State quite well and it is when you know a house well that you can move around in it and know where to go and where not to go.
We know this state and that is what we are putting before the electorate to let them know that we have been tested and trusted. Let them look at our records and we are very proud to let them know that we have such records.
You have been going around with the message of amazing restoration. I have a lot of things to restore. You may talk of what Ajimobi has done; I will not tell you that he has not done anything.
Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja
There is no governor that will come and will not do something. I should know your ailment; know what is wrong with you before I prescribe a medicine. If you say that Ajimobi has been touting his achievements, the question is, has he taken his time to know what the people want?