Chief Sunday Adeyemo, who is popularly called ‘Sunday Igboho’ has revealed how he rejected advances from late garrison commander of Oyo politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu to lure him into taking part in the plot that led to the impeachment of former governor Rashidi Ladoja.
According to the businessman who hails from Igboho, headquarters of Oorelope local government area of Oyo State, “When they were hatching this impeachment plot against Ladoja, they knew that I would be an obstacle to their plan, therefore, Adedibu sent for me. Adedibu said I should meet him at Kakanfo Inn, here in Ibadan and when I got there that night, already seated with Adedibu was a senior police officer.”
Igboho, who now resides in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital said that “Adedibu later started talking, but at a point, I told him to tell me the particular offence Ladoja committed. After hesitating for a while, Adedibu told me that they had concluded plans to impeach Ladoja, because Ladoja was stingy.
He narrated further: ”It is true I was a key witness and also a key player in the political developments of that period. I was an insider. Former governor Rashidi Ladoja was my leader, my political boss. I rose and fought on his behalf when the late Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, wanted to carry out their illegal impeachment of Ladoja. By nature, I’m a gentleman, but I hate cheating and injustice. I have my supporters who are loyal to me and who also believe in me, just as I believe in Ladoja and I’m also loyal to him. My supporters and I, who some people like to describe as Sunday Igboho’s boys, decided to fight the injustice against Ladoja.
“By nature, I’m not violent, but when the other party was not only being violent, but also being openly supported by ex-President Obasanjo, to the extent of even using police against Ladoja and his political interests, we had no choice than to fight back. When we fought back, people started saying Sunday Igboho and his boys are violent.”
He said he supported Ladoja because he hates cheating.
“At that point, I told Baba Adedibu that our own private investigations, as youth leaders in the party, had revealed that he was being renumerated monthly by Ladoja to take care of his political interests and other things. When I made this revelation, Adedibu was shocked, but he didn’t deny it.
“But he later pointedly told me that whether I liked it or not, Ladoja would go. He further told me to cooperate or they would look for ways to get me out of the way, to get Ladoja out of government. He told me that he had the backing of President Obasanjo. Many people knew that already at that time. He promised to reward me handsomely if I came along with the plot but I bluntly refused.
“But before I left him that night, I told Baba Adedibu that they would not find it easy to achieve their evil plan,” he revealed.
But why did they have their way despite Igboho’s resolve to scuttle the impeachment?
“After my encounter with Baba Adedibu that night, I clearly knew that the battle line had been drawn. I knew that we, loyal supporters of Ladoja had to be vigilant. I also expressed my views to Ladoja, that this issue was no longer a child’s play.
“In spite of the police security around the governor, political thugs from Baba Adedibu’s side continued their violent attacks on Ladoja and his interests. There was a time they invaded his private residence in Ibadan and Abuja.
“However, on January 11, 2006, I woke up to see a team of policemen from Abuja, and they told me that the then Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, ordered them to bring me to Abuja.
“It was the following morning when I was in far away Abuja, under police custody, that Adedibu’s thugs led by Lateef Salako, aka Eleweomo, struck. They invaded Government House, Agodi and State House of Assembly, and it was under the watch of these political thugs that Ladoja was illegally impeached by a minority of the lawmakers loyal to Baba Adedibu. Majority of the lawmakers who were loyal to Ladoja had to take cover and ran for their lives.
“It was later I realized that my arrest and detention, was to pave the way for the illegal impeachment of Ladoja. If I had been around, I would have confronted Adedibu’s thugs with my own men and it would have been the mother of all battles. The second day after Ladoja was illegally removed the police authorities in Abuja freed me from detention without any charge, but by then the deed had been done.”
He said that Obasanjo owes Nigeria and Nigerians apology for illegally impeaching Ladoja.
“Obasanjo was clearly biased against Ladoja. I wouldn’t know why the President of the country decided to be partisan to the extent of supporting illegality – I say illegality, because even the Apex Court in the land, the Supreme Court, declared that impeachment illegal. The court after 11 months of legal battle declared Ladoja’s impeachment illegal, and consequently sacked Adebayo Alao-Akala, Baba Adedibu’s puppet, as the governor of Oyo State. Honestly, I believe Baba Obasanjo owes not only Senator Rashidi Ladoja, but the entire nation an apology for supporting illegality,” he posited.
But is Igboho close to Governor Ajimobi?
He answered: “We are not members of the same political party. He is APC while I belong to Accord Party. But one thing I salute Ajimobi for is his ability to restore peace and security to Oyo State after many years of political violence. If you can recollect, at a time, Ibadan was a theatre of war between Ladoja’s supporters and Baba Adedibu and Alao-Akala’s supporters.”