Opeyemi Bamidele lied on claims of taking care of APC, says party leader Oladapo
By Ayodele Ibikunle
Claims that the All Progressives Congress, (APC) gubernatorial aspirant Opeyemi Bamidele was taking care of the party are false, a notable APC leader said on Saturday.
Oladapo Karounwi said many people have called to express shock and embarrasment at the statement credited to Senator Bamidele Opeyemi when he visited the APC State Secretariat on Thursday, December 23
He listed two controversial and incorrect statements made by Bamidele one being when he recalled how he took care of the default Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, from May 2003 till 2010 when Mr. Fayemi assumed Office.
Karounwi quoted Bamidele as saying that he took care of the Party from May 2003, when Otunba Niyi Adebayo left office till 2010 when Governor Kayode Fayemi took over as the Governor of the State.
He said the false claims were meant to disparage and diminish Otunba Niyi Adebayo that he abandoned the Party immediately he left office as Governor in May 2003 and to denigrate Governor Kayode Fayemi as someone who came to be Governor in 2010 through a Party he didn’t take care of and reaped where he hasn’t sown!
“The falsehood has to be debunked before same is sold to APC members in the Wards and Local Governments. APC members deserve to know the truth in case they have forgotten or new in the Party. Below is the true account of the period under reference” he said.
Karounwi said he was a member of the Alliance for Democracy from 2003 to 2006 when a faction of AD, Advance Congress of Democrats, ACD and Justice Party merged to form Action Congress, AC.
Hesaid it was not on records that Bamidele was a member of AD in Ekiti between 2003 and 2006 but he was an active member of AD in Lagos hence there was no way he could have taken care of Action Congress that was not in existence in 2003 as he claimed.
He said Otunba Niyi Adebayo was the one who has been financing AD since he became the Candidate of the Party and Governor in 1999 adding that he continued to finance the Party after he left office and put the AD structures in place between 2003 and 2006.
He said Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was equally assisting the party logistically during this period adding that the the party got additional supports from the Gubernatorial aspirants such as Dr Kayode Fayemi, Navy Capt (retd) Caleb Olubolade, Mr. Ayo Arise, Chief Paul Alabi, and Chief Tunde Odetola Odelodu among others.
He listed those in the State Exco of AD at the time include Chief George Akosile ( Chairman) Chief Akin Fasae ( Secretary), Mr. Remi Osabusua ( Publicity Secretary), Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu ( Organising Secretary), Chief Mrs Ronke Okunsanya( State Women leader) and Chief Jide Ajayi ( Treasurer), among others.
He said Action Congress came on stream in September 2006 and Chief Jide Awe emerged the State Party Chairman in a State Congress at Olukayode Stadium, Ado.
He said a few months later, Dr Kayode Fayemi defeated about 30 other aspirants, through a direct Primaries, to become the Candidate of the Party, AC.
He said since Fayemi became the Candidate of the Party in 2006, he has remained the major financial backbone of the Party to date.
He said Bamidele became only visible an active in Ekiti Politics when he came to contest for the Senatorial seat alongside Chief Dele Alake, Chief Babafemi Ojudu, and Chief Bode Ola around 2008 under the Action Congress, AC.
He said during this time, Bamidele mobilised for the Party and did well.
“The Party compensated him with the House of Reps ticket and won the general election overwhelmingly in 2011. Kindly note that Action Congress, AC, became Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in 2010. ACN merged into APC in August 2013. Bamidele was not a member of APC at inception. He defected from ACN to the Labour Party in 2013.”
He said while responding to a question on the Constitutionality of his movement to the Labour Party having been elected on the platform of the defunct ACN, he responded thus:
“The issue is very clear. The Certificate of Registration of the ACN was revoked and the Party along with others formed All Progressive Congress, APC while ACN ceased to exist.”
” He said Ekiti people wanted him to form a Political Party, but after several consultations, they took a bold decision to join the Progress Labour Party”
He said Bamidele contested Gubernatorial elections under the Labour Party in 2014 adding that he contested against APC and Fayemi while APC and Fayemi lost the election to the Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
He said Bamidele left the Labour Party and registered with the APC in his Iyin Ekiti Ward, in the build up to the 2018 Gubernatorial elections ( 2017 thereabouts).
Karounwi said Bamidele contested Gubernatorial Primaries alongside Kayode Fayemi, Segun Oni and about 32 others in 2018 but he lost. Dr Kayode Fayemi won!
He argued that the Party however compensated him with the Senate ticket and he won the General election in 2019 to become a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic.