Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said the impeachment of a former governor of Oyo State, Rasidi Ladoja, was not as a result of his failed third term bid.
Mr Obasanjo spoke during the launch of former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala’s book, titled “Amazing Grace”, which held at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan.
Mr Ladoja who became Governor of Oyo State in 2003 was impeached in 2006 but was reinstatated after 11 months.
Mr Obasanjo’s perceived bid to serve another term after his presidency between 1999 and 2007 was resisted by the National Assembly. Mr Obasanjo has, however, denied trying to use extra-constitutional means to stay in power.
The former president, at the event, said that he was shocked over an allegation against him that Mr Ladoja was impeached due to his (Ladoja) opposition to his (Obasanjo) quest for third term in office.
Mr Obasanjo said Mr Ladoja was removed from office because of his “failure to accommodate the duo of his late political leader, Lamidi Adedibu and Yekinni Adeojo after his emergence as the governor of Oyo State”.
Mr Adedibu, known as the strongman of Ibadan politics, died June 11, 2008.
Mr Obasanjo noted his attempts to reconcile the trio.
Mr Obasanjo said “You (Alao Akala) pointed out on page 140 that Ladoja picked up a quarrel with me for reason of a non-existent third term.
“I didn’t know that Ladoja picked up a quarrel. His becoming governor was due to the grace of God and major contributions of two people – Yekinni Adeojo from whom the party structure was wrested and Chief Adedibu who spearheaded the whole programme.
“I pleaded with him to make accommodation for them both. He told me that they were all Ibadan people and they knew how to deal with themselves.
“He subsequently proved himself right as they dealt with themselves. He, Ladoja, came out the worse for it.”
Meanwhile, Mr Alao-Akala, in his remarks, noted that he was a product of grace “penciled in the hands of the creator who drew the picture of whom he became today.”
He added that “God brought him from junctures where many who had great and greater hope of tomorrow fell.”
He pointed out that the title of his autobiography, “Amazing Grace”, “was not a happenstance, but rather an audacity of providence to bring him out of the dungeon of a hopeless tomorrow into the fulfilment of a life.”
“I call this history making, not strictly for any other reason but for its fulfilment of my long anticipated desire to codify how the tragic death of my father in a road accident in 1952 single-handedly threatened to swamp my dream of getting to the cusp of my life aspirations but how providence miraculously found for me a path to the top.
“How I became Governor of Oyo State are also documented which served as a reminder to those who may be prone to being quickly swept off by the amnesia of history that God used me and my team of dependable colleagues at that period in time to change the lives of the people in the state.”
Dignitaries at the event included Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; Oyo State deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan and Minister of Youth and Sport, Sunday Dare.
Others were Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi; Olubadan of Ibadan land, Saliu Adetunji; Niyi Akintola, Abosede Adedibu, Akeem Adeyemi and Tunji Alapini.
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