Ekiti 2018: I have strong pact with Fayemi – Bamidele

A member of the seventh House of Representatives, Hon. Opeyemi
Bamidele, has disclosed that he has an agreement with former Governor
Kayode Fayemi on how the All Progressives Congress can win the July 14
governorship election in Ekiti State.

Bamidele said he decided to settle rift with Fayemi because the two
leaders needed to work assiduously to ensure that the party returned
to power in Ekiti State.

He described the agitations by aspirants from Ekiti south senatorial
district that power must shift to the zone as a legitimate one,
clarifying that such would not preclude contestants from other
districts from exercising their rights in line with the constitution.

Bamidele and Fayemi have been seen fraternising with each other in
recent time, which some people interpreted to mean an attempt by the
Minister to persuade the former federal legislator to renounce his
ambition for the ex-governor to scheme a return to Ekiti government
house.

The two parted ways prior to the 2014 governorship poll, forcing
Bamidele to contest on the platform of Labour Party for the 2014
gubernatorial election.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday while declaring his governorship
intention at the party's secretariat in Ado Ekiti, Bamidele said the
pact between him and Fayemi was not for personal aggrandisement but
for the corporate benefit to the party.

"Yes, the Minister visited my office in Abuja and the Special Adviser
on Political Matters to the President, Mr Babafemi Ojudu also wrote a
goodwill message to me as I declare my intention today. To me, this is
a sign of good development.

"All these shouldn't give room for speculation that someone was trying
to persuade the other to shelve ambition for the other. All the party
leaders must work together, so our working together and their visits
to my office was not for selfish interest or about our ambitions
alone.

"What these signaled was that, it is no longer the old story. It
showed that the APC is no longer in war. It shows that the party is
becoming more united and stronger. It showed that we are giving each
other mutual respect.

"I have made it clear at every political gathering I attended that I
have settled rift with Fayemi. The two of us are frontline party men
and we have to work together to rescue our party. We are doing same
with Engr. Segun Oni, all in the interest of our party", he said.

He said the agitations for zoning won't preclude him and others from
exercising their rights to contest for the governorship seat.

"I want to say that zoning is a legitimate issue. It is also
legitimate for every district of the state to aspire in line with the
constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.

"The constitution of our party didn't respect zoning and even the
constitution, so we are free to contest irrespective of the
legitimacy of the agitations", he added.

Bamidele said he never defected from APC to another party, saying the
party had not been formed when he defected to LP in 2013.

"I was one of the legal team that returned the Certificate of
Registration of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria to INEC for APC
to be consummated.

"I stood with the ACN till the last time when the certificate was
returned. The progressives then were not unaware of the need for us to
merge with other parties to be able to win at the centre and that led
to the death of ACN.

"But because of the misunderstanding among the leaders of our party, I
then quit even before the registration of the new party.

"This is not even a basis for argument. Senator Ayo Arise left the
Action Congress to the PDP in 2007 when he thought the primary that
produced Fayemi was not fair enough and today, he is back, ditto Engr
Oni.

"We must realize that politicians must have bus stops before getting
to the destination. So, whatever happens to us on the way should be
taken as issues now, getting to the destination, I mean winning the
next election must be our ultimate target", he advised.

The Deputy Chairman of the party, Mrs Kemi Olaleye, said the party
held Bamidele in high regard, saying his declaration would be an
impetus to the party to reclaim the state back from the PDP.

Olaleye assured that the party will conduct free and credible primary
to make it have a united front to prosecute the next election.

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