By Samuel Adegoke
Former governor of Oyo State, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, has debunked the claim of his erstwhile deputy, Adebayo Alao-Akala, that he was neglected as deputy governor during their tenure between 2003 and 2007.
In a statement issued on Sunday by his media assistant, Mr Lanre Latinwo, Ladoja stated that before Alao-Akala became what he called a ‘Judas’ in his administration, the latter supervised local governments and parastatals.
Alao-Akala had recently stated in an interview with reporters as part of the activities marking his 70th birthday that he was treated worse than a spare tyre when he was deputy governor to Ladoja.
“If there was anything worse than spare tyre, I was treated worse. You even take care of spare tyre because of emergency needs but this spare tyre was left deflated so I could not be used. As deputy governor, I was not treated well at all. I was just going to the office to read newspapers. I was not assigned roles. I just forced myself in; they didn’t allow me. When my boss was reinstated as governor after the impeachment saga, he removed me from the deputy governor’s office and put me outside the secretariat, very close to the present Ministry of Environment. My office was outside the secretariat. Secondly, he prevented me from attending the executive council meeting. Till that regime ended, I did not attend executive council meetings,” Alao-Akala said.
But Ladoja said Alao-Akala’s claim ‘’was utterly untrue, mischievous and misleading.” He added that the former deputy governor was ‘’being economical with the truth.”
“The claim by Alao-Akala that he was not allowed to perform while in office as deputy to Sen. Ladoja, is a figment of his imagination because as a one-time senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the former governor was adequately equipped with the law.
“Alao-Akala was just being economical with the truth because he was presenting to the public a different scenario as against what really took place when he was deputy to Sen. Ladoja.
“At 70, why is Otunba Akala trying to rewrite history by telling what can be best described as white lies?”the statement said.
According to Latinwo, after Ladoja’s impeachment saga and Alao-Akala was ‘dubiously’ picked as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2007 election, Ladoja was of the opinion that the estranged deputy did not, and still does not have what it takes to lead.
“To allow him to focus on his electioneering, the then Governor Ladoja shed the assignments given to him (Alao-Akala) in order to enable him focus on his campaign,” the statement added.
Alao-Akala said the entire story is well documented in his memoir which will be unveiled later in the year.