Bamidele: APC Not at War in Ekiti

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Opeyemi Bamidele

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Former National Publicity Secretary of Alliance for Democracy (AD) saturday clarified that the leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State were not contrary to the impression being created by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Bamidele, an APC senatorial aspirant in Ekiti Central, made the remark during a telephone interview with some journalists in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, asking the party faithfuls to dismiss the PDP’s statement about internal rift in the APC.

Former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni had filed a suit challenging the candidacy of the Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi in the July 14 governorship election, claiming that Fayemi did not properly resigned as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development before the primary election.

The APC constitution demanded the resignation of all appointed contestants 30 days to election, which had formed a basis for which Oni was contesting Fayemi’s propriety to be allowed to contest the primary by APC screening Committee.

On this ground, the APC leaders including Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande and Chief Olusegun Osoba had in a statement asked Oni to withdraw the suit in the interest of peace and unity. But Oni claimed that he did not know anything about the suit, claiming that his supporters filed it.

With the suit and internal crises undermining the party’s primaries, consequently, the PDP described the APC as the party at war. It claimed that the party had divided against itself.

Speaking with journalists yesterday, Bamidele said the suit did not connote that the party was at war against itself in the state, noting that all the issues elicited by the highly contentious moves would be resolved with fairness and justice to all sides.

Bamidele said the impression being created by the PDP that the APC is deeply enmeshed in war of attrition, was a lie taken too far and a figment of imagination of those who were relying on crisis to win elections, rather than popularity.

Oni, who was a runner-up to Fayemi in the May 26 primary of the party, was contesting the eligibility of the governor-elect to participate in the APC internal election on the basis of his failure to resign as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development .

Bamidele urged party members “to remain unperturbed by the anxiety the court case has generated. All the issues surrounding the litigation are being addressed by the party leaders.”

He said the PDP would be disappointed in the end by its impression that the looming crisis in the APC necessitated by the alleged tension and clashes among political gladiators. He claimed that it would give the party an edge in 2019, assuring that the matter would be handled with all sides getting justice and fairness.

Bamidele pointed out that the APC “is well rooted among the grassroots of Ekiti and this reflected in the outcome of the July 14 governorship election. I am confident this matter will be resolved amicably. We thank God that this issue began even before the July 14 governorship election and the APC still won with Oni’s supporters working assiduously to ensure D Fayemi’s victory.

“The PDP has no reason to rejoice over issue that would be resolved in record time. The litigation itself has confirmed that the APC remains the most democratic in the history of this country. Prior to the 2007 general elections, the PDP suspended a sitting Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for suing the party for being unfair to him over the shoddy way the leadership then mediated in his rancor with President Olusegun Obasanjo, rather than deploying internal mechanism to resolve the logjam.

“But APC is different. The party never contemplated expelling Oni for filing the suit against its candidate, who is now governor-elect. Our party has been engaging the dramatis personae constructively and we can proudly say that we are optimistic that the crisis will be resolved and the suit will be withdrawn soon .

“Oni remains one of the most committed Ekiti leaders. He understands the dynamism of governance. Ekiti needs stability at this time for Fayemi to be able to deliver democratic dividends to the people. He is not a man that is desperate for power and I know that good reasoning will prevail in this matter.”

On his Senatorial ambition, Bamidele said he relied on his past record of achievements to be able to clinch the party’s ticket and win the general elections.

He served the people well during his stint at the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015, where he represented Ado-Irepodun-Ifelodun federal constituency.

He said what he contributed to the uplift of the people and the present consultations he had been making across the five local governments in the district would give him an edge over his main challenger, Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki.