2019: Ladoja, Others Shop for New Party as Crisis Deepens in Oyo PDP

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Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
All is still not well with the Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a former Governor of the state and its leader, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, vowed to leave the party because of the perceived impunity rearing its head again in the party.

To underscore the seriousness attached to the move, a committee has been set up to shop for an alternative party by the Ladoja group as the 2019 elections gather momentum.
Three weeks ago, the crisis in the party reared its ugly head following moves by the national secretariat to divide the state executive into two with Ladoja group given 14 slots of the state executive and another group loyal to a gubernatorial aspirant, Seyi Makinde 12 slots in the 26-member state executive.

Speaking in an interview programme on Splash F.M, Ibadan, yesterday, the former governor said he was miffed that the impunity which drove him away from the PDP in 2010 and which he was promised was over had surfaced again.

He also used the occasion to reaffirm his decision not to contest governorship election again in the state, stressing that his preoccupation was how to install a people’s government in the state in 2019.
Ladoja stressed that he had no axe to grind with Seyi Makinde, declaring that a father-son relationship still exists between them as well as other guber aspirants in the party.

“There was only one state congress held as far as I am concerned and Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha emerged as the chairman. The issue of the state executive being shared 14 and 12 does not even arise at all. There is and there will be nothing like that.

“It was impunity that drove us from the PDP and if they allow the impunity to return, we will leave the party for them. We brought Accord less than four months to the 2011 elections and the people of the state accepted the party.

“Wherever there is impunity, you will not find me there. How will some people think of going to Abuja to ask them to help to substitute names of their preferred candidates in the list of duly elected officers? It is very wrong and we will not accept that,” he said.
On the judgment nullifying the coronation of 21 new obas by Governor Abiola Ajimobi last year, Ladoja said the court made a declarative judgment which must be complied with, irrespective of the appeal filled by the defendants.

“By the judgment, these people should cease to call themselves oba and should not be wearing their so-called crown or coronet. There was a picture of one of them sent to me from Kano State that he wore the coronets.
“I will ask my lawyer to call the attention of the court to the flouting of its judgment. They are acting in contempt of court. The governor, my younger brother (aburo), should have called them to order and ask them to desist from illegality. They can wear the coronet in their houses, after all they can be kings of their houses, but outside their homes.

“The court gave a declarative judgment which means that irrespective of the appeal filed by them, the judgment subsists until set aside by a court of higher jurisdiction. The court said the retired Justice Akintunde Boade-led Commission of Inquiry is unknown to law and does not exist. These so-called obas too do not exist in the eyes of the law. That judgment still stands,” he said.
Ladoja reiterated that he had nothing personal against Governor Ajimobi whom he repeatedly called his brother, adding that he opposed his policies which he considered anti-people.