Chief Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, is a security expert and an Ibadan-based politician. In this interview with Olasunkanmi Akoni, he speaks on his relationship with former Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State and the subsequent impeachment saga purportedly engineered by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, among other issues. Excerpts:
Your name featured prominently at the height of political disagreement and subsequent violence between supporters of late Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and former Governor Rashidi Ladoja. As a member of Ladoja political group, you allegedly committed a lot of atrocities.
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.
Were you just defending Ladoja on account of loyalty, or did you try to find out what was wrong between him and his estranged godfather, Adedibu?
I believe in fairness. 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.
Adedibu later started talking, but at a point, I told him to tell me the particular offence Ladoja committed. After hesitating a while, Adedibu told me that they had concluded plans to impeach Ladoja, because Ladoja was stingy.
At that point, I told Baba Adedibu that our own private investigations, as youth leaders in the party, had revealed that he was being remunerated 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.
Despite your resolve to scuttle the impeachment, they still had their way. What happened?
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 because 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.
How will you describe the role played by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in the impeachment saga?
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.
Do you have any relationship with Governor Ajimobi?
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.
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