Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The recent invasion by gunmen of the Olubadan palace in Ibadan, Oyo State, where three journalists, including THISDAY Ademola Babalola, escaped death by the whiskers, will not go away in a hurry as the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and a former Governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, continue to trade blames over the sponsors of the hoodlums.
While Ajimobi maintained that opposition politicians led by Ladoja have taken over the palace with a view of setting the monarch against his government, Ladoja said the governor was hallucinating and chasing shadows with the â€œwild and childishâ€ allegation that he wanted to use the palace for political gains.
Ajimobi, however, said the development was part of the grand plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to capture power from his All Progressives Congress in 2019.
The governor noted the encroachment of the palace by the opposition politicians in the state was responsible for the fueling of the perceived disagreement between him and the monarch, declaring that â€œKabiyesi is a peace-loving man and abhors violence but these politicians are the ones instigating violence because such is their stock in trade because their antecedents speak volume.â€
He spoke yesterday at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan where the state Muslim community conferred him with the award of the â€˜Most Equitable Governorâ€™ in the history of the state.
Ajimobi insisted that he knew those who went to attack the palace, adding that â€œwe know them; they want to be governor, they want to be Olubadan and they want to become the chairman of the party.
â€œThat was what they did during the Baba Adedibu era. What happened at the palace ring true with their political way of life. They were the ones who accused Adedibu; they used blood of a cow to rub their house and said they were attacked. It was when the police came that they knew it was cow blood.
â€œThey are the ones who went to attack then Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala in Akure during the PDPâ€™s handing over of gubernatorial flags to their candidates in Ondo State. For me, I donâ€™t have guns but the only gun I have is my mouth. They want to turn Olubadan against us, but they will fail. I have the power to remove the Olubadan but one does not remove his father, he has done something that if I just sign it, he will be removed, but I will not do that. It is not my own time that the Olubadan will be removed.â€
But Ladoja, through his Press Secretary, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, said: â€œAjimobi is hallucinating, and needs help because there was no connection whatsoever between the criminal behaviour of government henchmen sent after him (Ladoja) and the 2019 elections.
â€œThis is a tale we have heard so many times. It is a worn-out tale that has lost its flavour. Anytime the governor is unable to push through his anti-people policy, he lays the blame on Ladoja.
â€œVery soon, he will blame Ladoja for the probe of his council chairmen by the EFCC over stealing of millions of public funds. We will not be surprised if he wakes up tomorrow and blames Ladoja for the huge debt he has plunged the state into within six years-N115billion and $86milion.
â€œLadoja, a household name in the state, has long been the nemesis of Ajimobi. Ladoja is a man of peace and the very antithesis of Ajimobi who pretends to be the opposite of what he actually is-clueless, puerile, incompetent and lousy. Tomorrow is a promise to no man, let alone 2019.
â€œWe are counting down to the end of his mis-governance. But meanwhile, he needs help, and we call on the people of the state to remember him in their prayers.â€