A former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja, has endorsed the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Teslim Folarin, for Saturday’s election.
Mr Ladoja was the governor of the state between 2003 and 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He defected to the Zenith Labour Party in December 2018 and led a coalition of parties to successfully back Seyi Makinde for election in 2019.
But the coalition has fallen apart as the members accused Mr Makinde of not honouring the terms of the pact they had with him.
The former governor has neither been active in ZLP nor returned to the PDP but remains an influential political figure in the state.
On Thursday, his political family announced its support for Mr Folarin of the APC.
While speaking with his supporters at a meeting on Saturday in Ibadan, Mr Ladoja urged them and other voters in the state to vote for the APC governorship candidate.
The former governor expressed displeasure with Mr Makinde over his handling of the 25 February National Assembly elections in the state in which the APC won most of the seats.
“In the just concluded National Assembly elections, all the three senators under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party lost. And this is not about the history of Oyo State, but also about the history of the person in power. We saw an example of this in Osun State,” he said.
”Osun State governor, Ademola Adeleke, has only been in power for three months, yet he was able to clear all the House of Representatives and senatorial seats for candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the just concluded National Assembly elections. And then, we have to know that Osun State is in a peculiar position because it is the roots of Bola Tinubu, the president-elect,” he added.
”After Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, picked the PDP House of Representatives and senatorial candidates to represent the state at the National Assembly, he didn’t offer any form of support to them,” the former governor said.
”He didn’t spend money to support them or gave out a word to the citizens for any single one of them. Even God detests actions that are unfair and unjust,” he said.
”So when Saturday, March 18 comes, please, leave all you are doing and go out to cast your votes for Teslim Folarin, the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.”
Mr Ladoja also urged aggrieved members of the APC to overlook the shortcomings of the governorship candidate of the APC.
”One of our major mobilisers in the PDP called Olopoeyan recently defected to the camp of APC. Also, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) chapters of Oyo State have adopted Teslim Folarin as their preferred governorship candidate,” he said.
”Some political parties are also considering adopting Folarin already. However, I believe all will be sorted out in the coming days. Please, I am appealing to my loyalists to cast their votes for Folarin in the forthcoming gubernatorial election,” he added.
”In addition, I want everyone to forgive him for whatever he might have done in the past.”
Mr Ladoja was a political father to both Mr Folarin and Mr Makinde.
He led the coalition that backed Mr Makinde to win the election in 2019 but the coalition later collapsed six months after, following an accusation that Mr Makinde breached an allegedly agreed sharing formula for the appointment of commissioners and other political office holders into his government.
The parties in the coalition were African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the alleged agreement, PDP was to take 64 per cent of the appointments, ADC 30 per cent, ZLP five per cent and SDP one per cent.
But after the election, Mr Makinde denied any such agreement. But Mr Ladoja insisted many times even at public events that there was an agreement and criticised the governor for denying it.
A source told our reporter that Mr Ladoja has persuaded many PDP leaders to work for Mr Folarin, except Taofeek Arapaja, a former deputy governor now the Deputy National Chairman of PDP who is with Mr Makinde.
The source also said Mr Ladoja had met with a section of the Muslim community in the state, which was already angry with Mr Makinde over the sack of his original deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan, who hails from Oke-Ogun, an area dominated by Muslims.
Some of the lawmakers who lost in the 25 February National Assembly elections are associates of Mr Ladoja and are also said to be working against Mr Makinde.
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Oyo Governorship Poll: Ladoja endorses APC candidate, Folarin
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