Ekiti 2018: Zoning won’t stop any aspirant – Bamidele

All Progressives Congress (APC)  chieftain and former House of Representatives member, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, has said agitation for zoning of the governorship to a particular senatorial district will not preclude contestants from other

districts from exercising their rights in line with the constitution.

Bamidele, an APC governorship aspirant from the Central Senatorial District, said the agitations by aspirants from Ekiti South Senatorial District that power must shift to the zone was, no doubt,  a legitimate one.
He spoke at the APC State Secretariat on Wednesday during his declaration of intent to contest the July governorship under the banner of the party.
People of the South Senatorial District have been agitating power shift, saying the district was yet to produce a governor since creation of the state.
But Bamidele told journalists that the agitations for zoning woukd not preclude him and others from
exercising their rights to contest for the governorship seat.

He said: “I want to say that zoning is a legitimate issue. It is also
legitimate for every district of the state to aspire in line with the
constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The constitution of our party didn’t respect zoning and even the
constitution, so we are free to contest irrespective of the
legitimacy of the agitations”.

The APC governorship hopeful said that he had an agreement with the former Governor Kayode Fayemi on how the party could win the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.
According to him, he decided to settle rift with Fayemi purposely
because the two leaders need to work assiduously to ensure that the
party returns to power in Ekiti State.

Bamidele and Fayemi have been seen fraternising with each other in
recent time, which some people interpreted to mean an attempt by the Minister to persuade the former federal legislator to renounce his
ambition for the former governor to scheme a return to Ekiti Government House.

The two parted ways prior to the  2014 governorship poll, forcing
Bamidele to contest on the platform of Labour Party for the 2014
gubernatorial election.

Bamidele said the pact between him and Fayemi was not for personal aggrandizement, but
for the corporate benefit to the party.

He said: “Yes, the Minister visited my office in Abuja and the Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Mr Babafemi Ojudu also wrote a goodwill message to me as I declare my intention today. To me, this is a sign of good development.

“All these shouldn’t give room for speculation that someone was trying to persuade the other to shelve ambition for the other. All the party leaders must work together, so our working together and their visits to my office was not for  selfish interest or about our ambitions alone.

“What these signaled was that, it is no longer the old story. It showed that the APC is no longer in war. It shows that the party is becoming more united and stronger. It showed that we are giving each other mutual respect.

“I have made it clear at every political gathering I attended that I
have settled rift with Fayemi. The two of us are frontline party men
and we have to work together to rescue our party. We are doing same with Engr. Segun Oni, all in the interest of our party”, he said.

APC State Deputy Chairman, Mrs Kemi Olaleye, said the party holds Bamidele in high regard, saying his declaration would be an impetus to the party to reclaim the state back from the PDP.

Olaleye assured that the party would conduct free and credible primary to make the party to have a united front to prosecute the next
election

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