The governorship candidate of the Accord Party in Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has said the national leadership of the All Progressives Party (APC), indeed, wanted him to defect to the party and contest the forthcoming governorship election on the ticket of the party, but that he refused to take up the offer because of the duplicity of people in APC.
Speaking to the Sunday Tribune, in an exclusive interview, Ladoja stated that prominent APC national leaders visited his Bodija residence on two occasions last October with a proposal to make him the governorship candidate of the party, while the incumbent, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, would go to the Senate. He added that they came up with the proposal, because it had dawned on them that Senator Ajimobi “has failed”. He also alleged that the Oyo State governor refunded some money to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ajimobi, however, responded on Saturday, saying that Ladoja lied about the allegations that he refunded money to the EFCC.
He told a team of journalists that the former governor should tell the people of Oyo State whether or not he was arrested by the EFCC, stating categorically that Ladoja refunded over N500 million to the anti-graft commission and the commission has returned the money to the state coffers.
“We have our records, let him dispute it,” he said.
Ajimobi also denied consulting the former governor over the 2015 elections, saying that the alleged pact was a figment of Ladoja’s imagination.
“Ladoja is lying. The man sometimes tells stories that are not true. What happened was that our leaders, Senator Bola Tinubu, Chief Akinyelure and former Governor Segun Oni met with Ladoja at the residence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the purpose of the meeting was to get all Yoruba to work together.
“They wanted a situation whereby those who had been governors and are older than the incumbents would play the role of statesmen. They appealed to some competing Yoruba to work together.
“The purpose of the meeting was to allow people who have held offices before and are over 70 to step down for the younger ones. At no time did anybody offer him APC ticket and it does not make sense,” he said.
Speaking further, Ajimobi said: “I defeated him before, because he was in power and he didn’t perform well. It doesn’t make sense. Let him confirm who begged him. I told some of our leaders to reply him, but they said it was not necessary that he was just arrogating to himself what he didn’t have.
“Again, some elders came to me and we went to him and at no time did anyone discuss issue of ticket with him,” the governor said.