From CHARLES ADEGBITE, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governorship aspirant, Hon Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, has faulted the endorsement of the incumbent governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi by a section of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the state. Bamidele, a chieftain of the ACN, and the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, described the endorsement as mere expression of opinion as allowed by democracy.
MOB, as he is fondly called, yesterday declared that the endorsement, however, does not fore-close other party members challenging Fayemi at the primary election. The Federal law maker also urged Ekiti people to disregard the publication that he had no interest in the 2014 governorship election and the rumour that he had defected to Labour Party.
He described the rumour as part of the evil machination of his detractors in their attempt to denigrate his political career and put him to ridicule in the eyes of the public. In a statement signed by his Media Aide, Mr Ahmed Salami in Ado Ekiti, Bamidele posited that endorsement of a sitting governor is normal in politics, but such could not rob other party members the rights to aspire for the same seat at the primary.
MOB emphasized that he still remained a leader in ACN, even in the face of the plethora of campaigns of calumny against his person by some people in the party he had labored to build politically. He clarified that only endorsement from the National leaders of his party could deprive other ACN members the right to contest against the governor at the primary.
Bamidele who had been actively involved in the political activities of building a better Nigeria since his election as the National President of the National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS, over 22years ago, added that any endorsement at the Ward, Local and State levels, must be ratified by the National body before it became binding on all the members.
He said: “The endorsement of the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi by a section of our party is a step that is allowed in politics. But I want to say that other party members who are interested in the position can still show interest.” He added that the ACN was “not a lawless party. It is a party that believes in the rule of law and democratic tenets, so I am confident that the rules will be followed strictly under this circumstance.
Bamidele, argued thus: “Electoral Act has made things very easy for political parties. Candidates can emerge through consensus or endorsement, but when there are dissenting opinions, then the primary election will be conducted, or else the party will be breaching the constitution”.
On his rumoured political ambition in 2014, he pointed out that “like other well-meaning sons and daughters of Ekiti State, I have my dreams and vision for a new and united Ekiti and when it is time to aspire in furtherance of the vision, I will do so, most courageously within the party and without any apology to pseudo-democrats , who are trying to give the ACN a bad image through their acts of intimidation and intolerance informed by leadership complex”, he concluded.