The Mysterious World of 'Baba Alankara'
By Ndimele Kingsley
Born on 25th September, 1944, Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja is a businessman who became a governor of Oyo State on 29 May, 2003 as a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), but was impeached on 12 January, 2006. He was preceded by Lam Adesina and succeeded by Christopher Alao Akala. Ladoja was elected to the Senate of Nigeria in 1993 during the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic.
He attended Ibadan Boys High School (1958–1963) and Olivet Baptist High School (1964–1965). He studied at the University of Liège , Belgium (1966–1972) where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. He obtained a job with Total Nigeria , an oil company, where he worked for 13 years in various positions before entering private business in 1985. In 2000, he became a Director of Standard Trust Bank Limited.
Despite the status of Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, the High Chief of Ibadan, however lives an incredibly simple lifestyle such that an unsuspecting onlooker would place him among peasant farmers.
A visit to his Bodija G.R.A, Ibadan home shows that his lifestyle fall below his worth. In his words, he says "I feel comfortable living a simple life".
Even in his dress style, most of the time he is clad in Nigerian-made Ankara. Ladoja admitted that people called him 'Baba Alankara' due to his choice of Ankara.
According to many, the ex-governor is jovial, accommodating and known for his philanthropic gestures. The septuagenarian noted that what is important for him is to create opportunities for other people to grow. It can be inferred that Senator Ladoja's generosity transcends the Government House.
One of his outstanding achievements during his tenure as Oyo state governor was the 30 pupils per class Initiative in every government school.
According to him (Ladoja), He left PDP because the party had lost focus and forgotten its vision of becoming a democratic party that will meet the expectations of the masses. Ladoja reportedly stated that " PDP has abandoned its founding objective and the party is now peopled with politicians who are opposed to the political principles of democracy".
The former Oyo state governor who defected to the Accord Party is set to return to the People's Democratic Party. He disclosed this in a radio interview on Saturday 23 September, 2017 saying, "my greatest regret at 73 years is not getting Oyo state to where it ought to be".
In response to his contesting as a governorship aspirant in 2019, Senator Ladoja remains uncertain about his political ambition.
In also stated that his re-alliance with his ex-deputy, Otunba Christopher Alao-Akala who many believed to have co-planned his impeachment and succeeded him on 12 January, 2006, Ladoja said "In politics, there's no permanent enemy and permanent friend, only permanent interest".