Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja is a big name who made a fortune in business. Despite his status, the high chief of Ibadan, however, lives an incredibly simple lifestyle such that an unsuspecting onlooker would place him among peasant farmers…….
Rashidi Ladoja Biography
Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja was born on 25th of September 1944 in Gambari village near Ibadan. He attended Ibadan Boys High School from 1958 to 1963. He proceeded from there to Olive Baptist High School for his Senior Secondary School leaving Certificate from 1964 to 1965. Then, he had his university education at University of Liège with B.sc in chemical engineering from 1966 to 1972.
He is a businessman who became governor of Oyo State in Nigeria on 29 May 2003 as a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was impeached in January 2006, but reinstated in December 2006. His term ended in 2007. He later became a member of the Zenith Labor Party (ZLP) in December 2018.
From 1972 to 1985, he obtained a job with Total Nigeria, an oil company, where he worked for 13 years in various positions. In 2000, he had become a director of Standard Trust Bank Limit. Ladoja made his money through many ways: an engineer, a farmer whose food crops are sold not only to the people of Oyo State but also beyond, a shipping company owner and generally a business mogul.
He has a very simple lifestyle, which is rare to see in most wealthy politicians. To further justify our curiosity, the former governor of Oyo State was described, during Sunday Vanguard’s visit to his Bodija GRA, Ibadan home on Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, by one of his loyalists as an enigma in politics. His lifestyle falls below his worth. Also, one of his friends who visited him had an experience to share on how Ladoja’s simplicity confused him while trying to locate his house on arrival.
In 2000, He was elected to the Senate of Nigeria in 1993 during the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic.
Rashidi Ladoja was elected governor of Oyo State in April 2003 on the PDP platform, and resumed office on 29 May 2003. He was supported by Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, a PDP power broker in the state then. In August 2004, Ladoja and Adedibu were locked in a fierce struggle over allocation of government appointees. Ladoja was not supported by the party in this dispute. In an interview in late 2005, the PDP national chairman, Ahmadu Ali, said that Ladoja should take instructions from Lamidi Adedibu.
On 12 January 2006, Ladoja was impeached by Oyo State legislators and forced out of office. His deputy, Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, was sworn in as the new governor.
In November 2006, the Appeal Court in the state capital, Ibadan, declared the impeachment null and illegal, but advised waiting for confirmation of this decision by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the decision on November 11, 2009, and Ladajo officially resumed office on December 12, 2006. Anti-riot police were deployed along the main roads leading to the main government offices to prevent violence from supporters of Adebayo Alao-Akala and Lamidi Adedibu during his reinstatement.
Ladoja failed to win the PDP nomination as candidate for a second term. He chose to back the Action Congress candidates for 33 local council chairmanship elections. The PDP refused to participate in the elections. As a result, the Action Congress (AC) won 26 seats and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) won seven. However, his successor as governor, his former deputy and former acting governor Christopher Adebayo Akala, sacked the council chairmen shortly after taking office and replaced them with PDP supporters
Ladoja was the governorship candidate for Accord party in Oyo State during the April 2011 and 2015 elections, he lost to Senator Abiola Ajimobi. He later merged his Accord Party into PDP in 2017. Dispute in PDP made him and other allies (from Labour Party, All Progressives Congress APC etc.) to move over African Democratic Congress (ADC) in 2018. After a brief sojourn in ADC which proved to be a marriage of strange bedfellows, Ladoja with his followers moved to the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in December 2018.
He is the Osi-Olubadan of Ibadan.
He is married to Mrs Mutiyat Ladoja, a highly respected philanthropist and blessed with children.
His business interests include manufacturing, shipping, banking, agriculture and transportation.
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