Oyo state governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 elections, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has explained how he and other party leaders begged former leader, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, not to dump the party, all to no avail.
Ladoja confirmed his defection to the African Democratic Congress (ADC) two weeks ago after losing the battle to have total control in the PDP in Oyo state. He was angry that some of his State Executive candidates were substituted with those of Seyi Makinde by the national leadership of the party in a reconciliation move. He insisted that the act was another demonstration of the “impunity” that made him leave the party in the build up to the 2015 elections
Makinde who addressed reporters in Ibadan on Monday, said he was disappointed that the former governor left the PDP despite several appeals by the party’s leaders at the state and national levels. He said he even prostrated to the high chief whom he considers as a father.
He dismissed insinuations that he drove Ladoja out of the PDP, wonderng how a son could drive his father from his own abode.
Makinde, who is now considered leader of the PDP in the state, also assured that he did not inherit an empty party, revealing that about 90 per cent of members of the state and local government party executive did not follow Ladoja to ADC.
“We all tried our best to see him stay back as the leader but you cannot force a horse to drink water after forcing him to the river. However, we will continue to reach out to him in case he has a rethink.” Makinde said.
He added: “Oyo PDP today is not an empty party. Remember that Sen. Ladoja contested as governor in 2011 and 2015, and he lost. A tree does not make a forest. Sometimes, when regular players come together, they can defeat the master in his game. A lot of people are returning and joining PDP today to realize their ambition.”
Makinde also assured that he possesses physical and mental toughness to govern the state if elected having made his mark in the business world.
He also said he has learnt so much from his past failures, pointing out that it will help him prepare better for the future.