By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-A former federal lawmaker and All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, has dismissed the rumour making rounds that he has backed out of the governorship race.
Bamidele, who clarified that he’s still very much in the race, described the rumour that he has stepped down for the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi , as laughable, saying there is no reason for him to quit when he was convinced that he has a good chance of clinching the party”s ticket.
Bamidele stated that with the assurances given by the APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the southwest bigwigs at a meeting held in Lagos last Friday, that he has no reason to doubt the credibility of the process leading to the primary .
He said he expected the leaders to conduct a free, fair and credible primary that would produce a strong candidate that will be able to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and retrieve the state back for the party.
“It will be tragic for APC to lose after passing through all these stresses, so we must do the right thing for us to get the right result”, he advised.
Bamidele spoke in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while meeting with APC delegates drawn from the 13 wards in Ado Ekiti Local Government in continuation of his efforts to solicit the supports of party executives at the ward level.
The APC chieftain , said it has become the habit of some politicians to peddle rumours against him each time he wants to contest election in the state.
“It is laughable that people are saying I have stepped down for Fayemi. When the Minister was in government , I disagreed with him even as a sitting governor . I was brought up to speak truth to power, not minding whose ox is gored.
“It surprises me that they didn’t say I was fronting for Engr. Segun Oni or Senator Gbenga Aluko, because I am close to all these people. But, this is part of politics.
“I have traversed all the 177 wards and I am now visiting all the 16 local governments in search for delegates. At 54, if I want to step down, I won’t waste time, energy and money moving around . I will not even pretend in telling the public about it.
“Let me say that I am on the field, in the race and on Saturday we are looking forward to getting the ticket by the grace of God”, he said.
Counseling the delegates on the choice of candidate they should vote for, Bamidele advised that they should throw up someone who has the acceptability and clout to win as well as the knack to organise the party and make it a formidable force.
“APC needs an experienced person and someone with scientific understanding of what has gone wrong in Ekiti and how to resolve it . I have been commissioner for over ten years in executive arm, I have been a member House of Representatives and I am also a lawyer, which falls within the judicial arm.
“I will not in any way disappoint if given the ticket, because I am a loyal party man and I know how to work with everybody to get the useful result”, he said.
On the sincerity of the Chief John Oyegun-led National Working Committee to conduct credible primary, Bamidele said : I have no reason to doubt their integrity.
“All the aspirants had gone through screening and as we were doing this, we were given a copy of delegates’ list each. We all knew who will vote on Saturday.
“With this, I don’t envisage that anyone would try to tamper with the list or see anyone trying to do accreditation at another location different from where they will vote, which can give opportunity to transport fake delegates to the venue.
“The NWC, National and zonal leaders as well as the aspirants have agreed on some pacts and I believe these shall be allowed to prevail in this election”,.