A former Secretary to Oyo State government, Chief Layiwola Olakojo, has berated an ex-governor of the state, Senator Rasidi Ladoja, for what he termed “selfishness” which he concluded led to the exit of the Ibadan High Chief from the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in December.
Chief Olakojo, who said despite initially disagreeing with the choice of Senator Olufemi Lanlehin as ADC’s governorship candidate, owing to Ladoja’s “devious intrigues in the build up to Lanlehin’s nomination.”
He said he was now on the same page with the likes of Dr Adebisi Busari and Chief Michael Koleoso in support of Lanlehin’s governorship bid, having realised that Lanlehin is Oyo State’s best choice.
The former SSG spoke on a radio interview monitored in Ibadan on Saturday, explaining that the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), an integral part of the ADC, which he leads, was very much ready to mobilise its members for the success of the ADC, and Lanlehin’s gubernatorial bid.
Giving reasons for his initial objection to Lanlehin’s candidature, Chief Olakojo said; “Ladoja and Koleoso brought Lanlehin to us and I recall not initially supporting Lanlehin’s bid because our group, CNM, had three members interested in the race – Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, Mr Dele Adigun and Honourable Wale Adegoke.
“But later when I realised that Lanlehin is a gentleman and a good listener too, and having sorted all areas of misunderstanding, I agreed and I’m fully backing him.
“But Ladoja, who had the bulk of candidates ceded to his group; 16 out of 32 assembly seats, four out of 14 federal representatives and one out of three senators, and the most important position of all, the governor, yet still left, how best can one describe such man, if not selfish?” Olakojo continued.
Chief Olakojo also berated the All Progressives Congress (APC-led) state government for what he called abysmal failure in education, to the point where the state ranked 26th in WAEC examinations.
He tasked voters in the state to elect Lanlehin, who, he believes, had the interest of the masses at heart, and was ready to transform the state for the good of all.
Listing the priorities of a Lanlehin-led government, Chief Olakojo itemised free and qualitative education, affordable healthcare, agricultural revolution through revitalised farm settlements, establishment of cottage industries to complement the farm settlements, and a welfarist approach to governance which prioritises prompt payment of salaries, pension, gratuities and all allowances.
“Lanlehin will embark on people-oriented projects, using local contractors, who in turn will employ our artisans, that way, the state’s economy will improve,” Olakojo added.
He pointed out that the numerical strength of the CNM was a big plus for the ADC in the coming elections.
“When we started CNM, we registered members in all the 351 wards of the state, some between 700 and 1,000. Now if such huge number is mobilised for Lanlehin’s governorship project, then success is guaranteed,” Olakojo said.
The former SSG, who praised Lanlehin for his gentlemanly disposition, believes that with the huge experiences garnered by him, especially in the three arms of governance; commissioner/special adviser (executive), member, House of Representatives and Senator (legislature) as well as being a reputable lawyer of 42 years standing (judiciary), he was sure Oyo State would be in safe hands once Lanlehin becomes governor.