On Thursday, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja, a former Governor of Oyo State, gave the reason he was not at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, venue of the swearing-in of the governor of the state, Mr. Seyi Makinde on Wednesday. Ladoja said he was mourning and adequately informed Makinde when he (governor) visited him, 24 hours to his inauguration.
A press statement by Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, Ladoja’s media aide, a copy of which was made available to PUNCH said the former governor stayed away from the inauguration venue in order not to dampen the spirit of the celebration. Latinwo wrote, “The death of 31 years old Debola Ladoja, a promising son of the former Governor of Oyo State exactly five years on 29th of May this year was responsible for the absence of the Ibadan high Chief Rashidi Ladoja.”
The former Governor, according to Latinwo, kept the reason to himself in order not to dampen the high spirit of the people around him, who had prepared ahead of the inauguration. “This fact was made known to the Governor himself when he visited the Osi Olubadan on Tuesday evening. People should, therefore, stop insinuating a wrong impression here and there,” Latinwo warned.
Two former governors of the state, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, and Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala were among the former helmsmen who were in attendance, including former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun), Ayo Fayose (Ekiti) and a host of other Yoruba leaders across the Southwest states.