Ahead of the 2019 governorship election in Oyo State, oil magnate, Engr. Seyi Makinde is rumoured to be in a political romance with former governor Rashidi Ladoja.
Makinde and Ladoja contested the 2015 governorship election under the platforms of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Accord respectively against the eventual winner, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to a source close to the Bodija residence of the Accord leader, Ladoja’s closest aides are talking to him on the possibility of fielding Makinde as the candidate of Accord in the coming 2019 election.
The source, who confided in InsideOyo.com said that Makinde has been a frequent guest of the 72-year-old politician lately, adding that “Baba has two people in mind if he does not contest the next election -Lanlehin and Makinde. In fact, many people would be happy if Makinde can join us. He is young and I see him as somebody who will not betray Baba like others have done in the past.”
“Recently, he has been seen with the old man. He recently represented Ladoja at a function in Eruwa. And if you have observed SDP ward meetings recently, you will see that it is no longer what it used to be. He does not sponsor them again. In fact, he has relocated the SDP secretariat from Oke-Ado to Omi-Titun House. That tells you a lot of things,” the source hinted.
Asked how members of Accord would react if Makinde eventually gets the ticket, the source explained: “We don’t have any mood in Accord. It is whatever Ladoja tells us that we will do. He is our leader and symbol. We will work with anybody that is chosen.”
When contacted, Makinde said that though it is untrue that he has defected to Accord, he has utmost respect for the former governor.
Reacting through one of his aides, Alhaji Akeem Azeez who is the publicity secretary of Oyo SDP, the philanthropist dismissed it as untrue but, however, added that anything is possible in politics.
He explained that “what really happened was that Engr. Makinde was invited to the fidau of Hon. Bimbo Adepoju’s mother’s burial in Eruwa. And Senator Ladoja, being Adepoju’s leader in Accord was also invited. When Oga got to know that Senator Ladoja was also invited, he decided to visit him in his Bodija residence so that they can move together. When we got there, the former governor told us he would not be able to make it as he has an equally important schedule to keep. He then asked Oga to represent him at the event. In fact, Senator Ladoja handed over the money he had planned to give the Muslim clerics and other persons to Oga. And we delivered his message. Maybe that was why people are insinuating…,” he added.
He jokingly said: “Anybody can visit Ladoja. Must everything be political? At least, he is an elder statesman.”
On why the Ibadan-born politician has reduced spending, Azeez said:”A lot of people think he should be spending. No, not all the time. For now, he is being strategic; he is targeting some things. You don’t spend money when there is no election. Even, top members of the ruling party are not spending like they used to do, during election. And it is not that we are not spending, we do it more strategically. A week has never gone without us assissting people, communities etc.”