2019: I am not contesting governorship election again —Ladoja

A former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has declared that he would no longer be contesting governorship election in the state whether in 2019 or anytime in the future.

Ladoja dumped Accord for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a few weeks ago, a party he left in December 2010 in the wake of a power tussle for the soul of the umbrella party in the state.

The former governor, who is the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, spoke on Political Circuit, a radio interview programme on Fresh FM 105.9.

Ladoja, on rejoining the PDP, declared interest in the national chairmanship of the party recently, seeking to play the role of a reformer if elected.

Asked if the governorship contest would be his Plan B should he fail to become PDP national chairman, he said “No, I am not contesting governorship election again.”

He attributed his inching towards the Olubadan stool and PDP national chairmanship bid as part of the reasons he foreclosed the possibility of taking another shot at the governorship of the state.

“Since I am aspiring to the national chairmanship of the PDP, it will be like someone wanting to be president and then coming back to be governor. I don’t do my politics that way,” he said.

Speculations had been rife that the coalition of four opposition parties under the banner of the PDP and Ladoja’s leadership was being done to have the chemical engineer re-elected for another term to which he is constitutionally entitled.

But Ladoja said the people of the state were suffering and promised to ensure the coalition succeeds in upstaging in 2019, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which he accused of using propaganda as a weapon.

He admitted that the inability of the opposition figures to come together under a common platform partly cost them the governorship seat by losing to the APC candidate, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who got 32 per cent of the total votes.

On the potentially negative perception of the PDP in the state, Ladoja said it was not parties that make politicians but that politicians make parties, adding that wherever he goes the people of the state would follow him.

“It is the kind of people in a party that makes a difference. The people of Oyo State love Ladoja and they will go with him wherever he goes. Look at the party and see if the people there are those you can trust. It is not the name of a party, but the people in the party.

“Nine that stands aloof from 1 will not become 10. So, we in Accord felt to make it easier for us to win election, we need to come together with like-minds.

“Parties in Nigeria have not yet defined their positions. They are neither left nor right. They are centrist in nature. Go and look at their manifestoes. They all profess the same thing- free education, making life easier for people,” he said.

The former governor promised to ensure adherence to the principles of level-playing field, internal democracy and due process, adding that the absence of these forced him and others, including members of the New PDP out of the party.

On his chances of clinching the PDP chairmanship seat, Ladoja said he would not lose sleep if he lost, declaring that losing two governorship elections had not reduced him in anyway.




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