The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has expressed confidence that Governor Kayode Fayemi would not want to destroy the chances of the All Progressives Congress by imposing candidate for the 2022 governorship election.
Bamidele described himself as the best to govern Ekiti in view of his experiences in public service that spanned over 30 years and cut across the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government.
The Lawmaker who is representing spoke in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, while formally declaring his interest in the 2022 governorship on the platform of APC at the party secretariat located along Ajilosun in the state capital.
Before coming to the party Secretariat, Bamidele was received by mammoth crowd of admirers, including commercial motorcycle operators and drivers, who had a procession from Ilawe road to Ajilosun, where the APC Secretariat was located.
Addressing the party leaders, Bamidele, said his superlative contributions in the Senate included his being instrumental to the passage of a bill for the establishment of a Medical Science University and a branch of Law School in the State, saying these were well-amplified testimonials to his competence to lead Ekiti.
Cataloguing his achievements as a Senator, Bamidele revealed that he had secured employment for 79 citizens of Ekiti as a Senator and had empowered over 4,000 persons in his Senatorial district, including physically challenged.
Speaking about why he decided to plunge into the race, Bamidele said: “We will strive hard to ensure that we don’t create a crisis for APC. I am particularly happy that the party had not endorsed anybody or is under any instruction to impose anybody. I know that Governor Kayode Fayemi won’t do anything that will scatter or destroy the party by imposing a candidate on us as a leader, I am confident that this will not happen.
“The January 22 primary is not the ultimate but how to win the June 18 election. I am convinced that the Chairman is a gentleman, I have known some of you for a long time as men of integrity.
“I am comfortable with the leadership and our Governor. I know that the governor can’t impose neither me nor anyone, for the sake of our party. I won’t be a politician that will terrify Ekiti, I will rather work for its comfort.
“We can’t fight because of the party primary. This is a family affair. I won’t do anything that will cause tension in Ekiti and APC. Only one person will be candidate and we should all work together and claim the victory together.”
The senator stated further that, “I am not the only one that is qualified to be Governor, but I have qualities that can make me outstanding Governor. There are three arms of government, Judiciary, executive and legislature. In the Judiciary, I belong to the body of benchers, the highest decision making body in the sector As the Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary in the Senate, we superintend overall Federal Courts and other judicial institutions in this country.
“Again, I was a member of the State Executive Council as commissioner in Lagos under two governors for 11 years. I had been a member of the House of Representatives and now a Senator. So, I have experiences in the judiciary, executive and legislative arms.”
Urging the party to give him the ticket and win easily, Bamidele said, “Ekiti people are ready to vote for me, they are waiting for me already. And if APC refuses to give me, I won’t get these ready votes. So, APC must give the ticket to a popular person who can win election easily.
“When I was in the House of Representatives, I was coming home on weekly basis, and that gave some people the opportunity to cause trouble between myself and my friend and confidant, Dr Kayode Fayemi. But we have agreed not to fight again and that will never happen. That was why I have decided to stay away from Ekiti because I don’t want to heat up the system that can cause the crisis.”
Reminiscing on the shooting of December 1, 2018, when he was shot as Director-General of Kayode Fayemi re-election campaign organisation at the party secretariat, Bamidele noted that, “I believed that I have been saved by God to serve Ekiti people. I was saved for the sake of this time.
“Let me also say that I have nobody to fight If anybody wants to fight me over this governorship, tell them I am not ready for any fight.
“If you give me the ticket, I will make you proud as a governor, I will even make you proud in my scientific campaign and how best to handle the party and give them respect that they deserve.”
The APC State Chairman, Paul Omotoso, who spoke on behalf of the SWC, described Bamidele as a politician with high integrity, assuring him that the party would provide a level playing field for all aspirants.
The APC State Chairman added that what the party stands for is equity, justice and fair play, advising the aspirant to go about his campaign with most decorum and be peaceful.