An Open Letter to Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja – A call to elderstatesmanship


The year was 2008, the 28th of August precisely, it happened to be one of the saddest days of my life as a passionate follower of Oyo state politics and ardent lover of Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja. On that fateful day Sir, you were arrested and remanded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of non-remittance of the proceeds from a sale of government shares totaling N1.9 billion during your administration. To me, on that day, my political titan fell and it bore a hole of sadness through me.

I wasn’t totally shocked because, yes, I knew your administration practiced profligate politicking and ‘Father christmasism’ in part, I just never expected that it was to that level of economic and financial criminality as espoused by the plethora of seemingly concrete allegations levelled against you, allegations that have held you in a fit of court fights till date.

Though saddened, I still loved you. I loved the fact that you were self-made. I loved the fact that you didn’t just bump into political power and public servitude by mere chance. You werent the typical career politician waiting in the trenches to pounce on just any office available. You seemed prepared for the job judging by your antecedents, and this made you easily lovable and loved by almost every well-meaning Ibadan indigene and Oyo state citizens at large.

But Baami Ladoja, some things have been happening of late, and they are on the verge of ‘out-saddening’ me when compared to the effect of this lingering EFCC infamy you suffer till date.

Firstly Sir, in ways more than one, you have enmeshed yourself in a circus of ill thought criticisms of the incumbent government in power in Oyo state, a move that has seen you conveniently mistake potent opposition for perennial whining. Also, through your party, the Accord Party, you have developed a substantially ridiculous knack to snag unto some projects or victories of the present administration, as either conceived or ‘originally owned’ by yours.

While the first above always arrive as tasteless criticism, the latter is just too ridiculous. It is indeed ridiculous because, you, a politically mighty Ladoja, has somewhat reduced yourself to grappling at straws to buy some shine in someone else’s shadow of repute. Hmmmn, how disreputable!

Sir, I’ll guess that these two new found hobbies of yours are done in the (dis)guise of opposition; but Baami, we both know true opposition is meant to put any incumbent government on its toes towards efficiency, and not serve as comic relief to them with a circus of ludicrous assertions.

For example, you could imagine my bemusement and disbelief when I recently read that you had taken the Oyo state government to court over the latter’s decision to initiate some reforms in the Ibadan Chieftaincy affairs. The objective mind in Ibadan would easily accept the fact that reviews and reforms are standard practices to ensure longevity in any institution, and that regarding this particular Ibadan chieftaincy establishment, it was long overdue.

The intention of this reform was quite clear to me at first read because long before now, I had personally asserted that communal accord and socioeconomic growth stands to be bolstered with more Obas enthroned in selected communities across an expansive city like Ibadan. So Sir, I couldn’t understand why you had to cheery pick on this at all and not understand it too. It’s almost basic understanding, but, you had to need the courts??? Why throw objectivity and discretion under the bus in the crave to just criticize, Baami why?

In fact, there’s actually a rumour making the rounds that this recent blinded onslaught against almost every move and turn of the incumbent administration is because of another gubernatorial intention mooted by your humble self. Sir, I’ll deliberately opt that this is false. Humour me Baami, how could this be true?

In barely three (3) months, dear Baami, you’d have lived 73 years on mother earth. And, while we’ll say “Alhamdulilah” for longevity and for still being able to physically stand on your two feet with little or no aid, Sir, we musn’t fail to let you know that it’s time to retire into something more grandeur and befitting than a guber gnaw; something else better than engaging in unnecessary roforofo tantrums aimed at distracting the incumbent.

Who are these people pushing away from honour anyway? Sir, please, refuse to be pushed. It won’t be your fault that some people tend to push you to derision, but, it will be on you, if you indeed allow yourself to be pushed and deemed pushable by political hyenas and scavengers. If I truly claim to love you so much, which I truly do, I feel heavily obliged to tell you this profound truth.

Baami, when the poop hits the fan, these bordeline psychotic sycophants pushing you and using your name to haul miscued and misthought missives at the present government in Oyo state will bail like baby butterflies and will not be present to pack the leftover crumbs of your reputation. You are to be seen trying every possible means, enter a plea bargain maybe, to shed the shag and shame of a 10-year EFCC infamy that has literally jailed your reputatuion in our eyes and in the eyes of many others.

Without further ado, it is on these premises above that I call upon you, Baami Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, the Òsì Olúbàdàn ti wa nìkan soso, to embrace the role of an elderstatesman with both hands, both eyes and all heart . Sir, now is the time to shed every weight that easily beset you and mount the grand and dignified throne of elderstatesmanship in Oyo state.

Sir, in today’s Oyo state, you remain a political blue blood, an astute one at that. So, at this level of your life, you should assume this germane role of elderstatesmanship by natural default. You are not the one to be seen showing signs and symptoms of political fatigue from pillar to post, hounding an incumbent administration in the hope to buy bots of relevance. It is just so unbefitting.

There lies more honour in fully embracing the role of an elderstatesman, whose sole ambition at the sunset of life is to see to the wholesome wellbeing, greater good and utmost interest of state. An elderstatesman in a state like ours gives total support to any people-oriented government in power. An elderstatesman gives apolitical and truly constructive criticism to help and not hound any incumbent. Oh! An elderstatesman is consulted by elected administrations for sage direction and trajectory to successfully deliver governance to the people. Baami Ladoja, all these and the likes, are what you should strive to be at this point in your life Sir.

Finnally Baami, I can assure that you are still loved by a handful lot in a Ibadan; your Accord party is probably the only political legacy you have left for the few of us who still love and respect you in Oyo state. But, if these unnecessary and uncouth bouts of macabre dance in front of the incumbent administration remains unbridled, Sir, your supposed reputable accord will end up as a concord of scorn. We’ll be sadder for it.

Yours sincerely,
Taoheed Ayomide Bakare,
Agboole Onifaari, Orita-aperin, Ibadan.

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