Opeyemi Bamidele Rejoins APC
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research and former Labour Party chieftain, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, on Monday defected with his teeming party supporters to the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying he is not returning to the party to flex muscle with its leaders.
At a press conference in his Iyin Ekiti country home heralding the return of the LP members to APC, Bamidele said they took the step in a bid to rescue the party from the brink of collapse occasioned by the defeat it suffered to Governor Ayodele Fayose during the June 21 governorship poll.
Bamidele praised the national leaders of the party, Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande and his successor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for their resolute belief in him despite his defection to LP.
Though, Bamidele contested for the governorship poll on the platform of LP, but Fayose had won the election by defeating the then incumbent governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the candidate of the APC in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Present at the meeting were the LP deputy governorship candidate in the Ekiti governorship poll, Alhaja Maryam Ogunlade, LP Chairman in the state, Akin Omole, Secretary, Asbiola Olowokere , the DG, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele Campaign organisation, Hon. Ropo Ige, Prof Joseph Oluwasanmi.
Others include: senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates in the last elections, chairmen of party in the 16 council areas and the 177 ward chairmen of the party.
Bamidele, whose political platform; Ekiti Bibire Coalition had defected from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria to LP following irreconcilable crisis with ex-Governor Kayode Fayemi in 2013 , stated that he would have defected to the APC with his teeming supporters before March 28 poll, but for the fact that the party had fielded candidates for various elections.
He said it would be foolhardy and tantamount to a betrayal of trust for him to have abandoned the candidates and defected to APC to mobilise support for the president elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) in the presidential poll.
The federal lawmaker, who counselled the political actors in the state to be wary of their actions in order not to derail the democratic process, described the impeachment hammer dangling on Fayose’s head as a manifestation of injustice that had eluded the state.
He said: “By and large, politics, if it is meant to serve the common interest, must be a dynamic aspect of human endeavour that embodies a whole process of expression, competition and reconciliation of personal interests for the ultimate benefit of the people.
“Let me use this opportunity to reiterate that my decision to contest for the governorship of Ekiti State is borne out of my innate conviction and that of many like-minds of mine, most of whom are illustrious sons and daughters of this great state, that though the ACN-led administration then was doing its best, however, its best was not enough for our much expectant but highly disillusioned people.
“Invariably, I would have loved to stand in for the gubernatorial race on the platform of the ACN as a vision-driven progressive party under the leadership of an equally dynamic leader, benefactor and mentor of mine, Tinubu.
“But when it became apparent that party primaries for candidate selection was not likely to hold in the Ekiti chapter of the ACN/APC, I had no choice at some point in the course of expressing my intent to offer our people a better leadership, than to move to another suitable party where I could be offered the ticket to contest in the ensuing governorship election.
“All of us the candidates contested on different platforms for the number of seat in the state. But as we all know in any contest, someone must emerge the winner. Whether or not the contest was fair, posterity and the court of law shall judge. That is not the bone of contention for today’s press briefing. I sincerely urge you to let us defer that to another day.
“Today, by the special leading of Almighty God and after the due consultation with my immediate family, friends, confidants and political associates within and outside Ekiti State, I, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, the federal lawmaker representing Ado/Irepodun-Ifelodun Federal Constituency hereby wish to declare my intent to decamp to the APC as from today, Tuesday, May 19, 2015,” he said.
Commenting further on his belief in progressive politicking, Bamidele said: “This was the more reason I felt comfortable to be part of the movement for the realization of the Buhari/Osinbajo project despite my membership of the Labour Party then.
“It was an age-long vision of the progressives in the southern part of the country to join forces with equally visionary and progressive politicians in the North to rescue our nation from bad leadership and its attendant hydra-headed manifestations that have come to characterise Nigeria in recent history: corruption, poverty and insecurity,” he concluded.