Leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State have expressed their displeasure at a request by the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan, for a former governor of the state, Rashidi Ladoja, to be “accommodated” in the PDP.
According to The Punch, Mrs. Jonathan was said to have made the request during a meeting she had with the state PDP leaders at the Presidential Villa in Abuja nine days ago.
Ladoja, a former member of the PDP and now the National Leader of the Accord Party, is nursing a governorship ambition. He was also present at the villa meeting.
A PDP source who was at the meeting said that most of those in attendance were stunned when the President’s wife suggested that Ladoja should be supported to realise his ambition. He said that her suggestion was rejected outrightly.
“The President’s wife asked that we should accommodate someone who is not a member of the party. How do we do this?
“She was tactically telling us to support his governorship ambition because she was saying she knew that Ladoja has the capacity to win election and defeat the All Progressives Congress in the state.
“But we disagreed and told her so. That was what happened, but she promised to convey another meeting soon where the issue would be further discussed.
“But I can tell you that we are not pleased with her activities in our party. We don’t understand where she derives the power to interfere in running of the PDP. In fact, most of us may not attend any other meeting summoned by her because she is not our leader.
She should keep off because if we field a wrong person, we may not defeat the APC in our state during the governorship election.”
Former Governor, Chief Christopher Alao-Akala said it was true that the meeting with the First Lady was held, but he said he was not asked to step down for Ladoja noting that she merely asked for Ladoja to be ‘accommodated’ by the party.
“Yes, it is true that the First Lady met us. But she didn’t ask me to step down. She said we should accommodate Ladoja in our party and we said it would be difficult to do so because he is not a member of the PDP. That was what happened.”
A Media Assistant to the President’s wife, Mr. Ayo Adewuyi, denied knowledge of the meeting while Ladoja’s media aide, Lanre Latinwo stated categorically that his boss is not planning to leave the Accord Party.
“Accord party in Oyo State remains one united entity and will continue to grow in leaps and bounds due to the sincerity of leaders of the party and the genuine love of the people.
“We urge members of the party and the general public to disregard the insinuation in all its entirety asserting that the Accord Party at the moment is not involved in any alliance talk.”