Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Former National Publicity Secretary of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele saturday shared experience after he was shot during a political rally in Ado-Ekiti on June 1, noting that gun attack would not deter him from contesting elections.
Despite his gory experience after the gunshot, Bamidele disclosed that he would continue to seek elective positions to give the people effective representation.
He shared his experience with some journalists in his country home, Iyin Ekiti, noting that he was hospitalized for 96 days bother in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Bamidele, a member of the seventh House of Representatives and erstwhile governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, was shot during a reception organised for the governorship candidate of the party, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
After his condition was stabilised in a state-owned teaching hospital, Bamidele was referred to a Lagos hospital due to the dearth of appropriate medical equipment to handle his current condition. He was subsequently moved to the UK after some days.
He returned home penultimate Thursday after medical treatment in the United Kingdom, noting that he was grateful to God for saving his life after stray bullets hit him in the build-up to the election.
He said he had a covenant with God to serve the people of Ekiti State and Nigeria throughout his life, describing the shooting as a challenge he had put behind him but will form part of his travails while navigating political path to save his people from poverty.
Bamidele, who has declared intention to contest senatorial election in Ekiti Central in 2019, said he would continue to seek political offices in spite of the harrowing experiences associated with the shooting caused by accidental discharge from a policeman.
He said: “I have a vow with God. I will continue to serve my people. Even, our Lord Jesus Christ experienced challenges in his quest to propagate Christianity. So, I see that as a mere challenge I have overcome through prayers of all Nigerians.
“I am a determined person, particularly when it has to do with banishing poverty among the people of Ekiti State and make them live a good life. I am not deterred. I will continue to forge ahead in politics.
“Although I have not declared formally, I am still consulting. But let me say that I will contest for Senate in 2019 to represent Ekiti Central. That confirms to you that I will not quit politics because I was shot on June 1”, he said.
Bamidele arrived Ado Ekiti from Lagos on Friday being the first time he would come to Ekiti after he was shot. Before entering the state capital in a convoy of over 50 vehicles, Bamidele had visited Efon, Ijero, Aramoko, Igede to thank the people for their prayers during his travail.
Addressing the party supporters in the state capital, Bamidele said: “Even the London Doctors told me clearly that I got my healing through miracle.
“I want to say that it was not money that saved me, but I received the grace of God. Many of the Doctors that treated me in London who were not Godly became born again because of me, while those who believed in God became more dedicated.
“I was shot in the stomach and thigh, in spite of these, I escaped, I didn’t die. This was because of the prayers of my people here in Ekiti and all over Nigeria. It was a miracle that I survived. I thought I would spend more than a year in the London hospital.
“But I only spent less than 50 days after which I got miraculous healing. I want to thank the good people of Ekiti State across party lines and religious divides, it was their prayers and love that saved me from untimely death.”
On his senatorial ambition, Bamidele said he started the journey eight years ago and that this might be the appointed time for it to become a reality.
He said: “I started this journey eight years ago, but our party in its wisdom told me to withdraw and contested for the House of Representatives, which I won. With what I am seeing and outpouring of love and affections from our people, I know it shall be fulfilled this time.”