A governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, says there has never been any leadership contest between him and the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja.
Makinde made this known in a statement made available to journalists while clearing the air on the harmonisation of state executives of the party which is currently generating comments in the state.
Nigerian Tribune quoted Makinde as stating that Ladoja’s leadership status is very clear.
According to the statement, Makinde said: “For the avoidance of doubt and before mischief makers continue to gloat in the little skirmish within our political family, let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that Senator Ladoja, former governor of Oyo State and the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, is not only my leader but the leader of our party, the PDP, in Oyo State.
“Generally speaking, there are two types of leaders. A leader thrust upon his people by circumstance and a leader who has paid his dues and has earned universal respect for his conduct and antecedent. Senator Ladoja belongs to the latter and this is as well documented as my genuine reverence for him.
“This reiteration is incumbent in the light of the convenient heresy being peddled by those who wish our party to repeat the same mistake that was made in 2015 in the state.
“It will be foolhardy on my part to contest the leadership of the party with someone of Senator Ladoja’s calibre when I do not even belong to the third string in the pecking order of our great party.
“I have reasons to believe that Senator Ladoja is in the forefront of the rebirth and resurgence of the PDP that upholds the tenet of justice and fairness.
“This statement is important to assuage the fears of the vast majority of our people. There is no leadership contest within our party. We have a common leader in High Chief Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja and it is our collective prayers that God will use him to pilot us to the promised land.”
Makinde, however, called on PDP leaders, members and stakeholders in Oyo State to bury the hatchet and work for the success of the party in the 2019 elections in the state.
He said it is time for the members to be vigilant and avoid the mistake of the past, noting that PDP should be ready to effect the change that will really bring dividends of democracy to the grass roots in a more civilised way come 2019.
“The current situation within the PDP is a clarion call for us to urgently and dispassionately decide whether we want to contest the 2019 election for its sake or we want to win the election to liberate our people from a paradoxical democratic captivity,” he said.