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The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, Hon. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, Tuesday cleared the air on his declaration for the Labour Party (LP) ahead of the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State saying “I did not defect from any political party.”
Bamidele, who was elected in 2011 on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to represent the Ado-Ekiti/Irepodun -Ifelodun Federal Constituency in the House, made the declaration in Akure, the Ondo State capital ,during a public discussion programme.
The discussion programme with the theme '2015: Imperative of Constitutional Review,' was organised by the Ondo State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as part of activities of the 2013 Press Week of the union.
The lecture chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof. Femi Mimiko, also had the senator representing Ondo South senatorial district in the National Assembly, Boluwaji Kunlere, and the senator representing Ekiti Central senatorial district, Senator Babafemi Ojudu.
The lawmaker’s comment came while responding to a question on the constitutionality of his movement to the LP having being elected on the platform of the defunct ACN.
“I was an active and committed member of the defunct ACN I was the National Director of Publicity of the party and I was elected to represent the people of the Ado-Ekiti/Ifelodun Irepodun Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
“For the reasons known to them, the leadership of the party decided to enter into discussion with other political parties and at the end of the day, the certificate of registration of the ACN was revoked and the party along with others formed All Progressives Congress (APC),” he said.
The lawmaker said since the certificate of the party under which he was elected had been revoked, it meant he had no political party, adding “I remained partyless for two months.”
Bamidele, who is a governorship aspirant of the LP for the 2014 election in Ekiti State, said it was at that point that a group “Ekiti Bibire Coalition’ was formed and he became a member.
The legislator said after much consultations with the people of the state and review of the situation in the state, it was decided that members of the coalition must join a political party since Bibire cannot be registered as a political party.
“We then decide that instead of joining or registering with a new political party (APC), we should join a progressive political party and that is why we join the Labour Party.”
He said as at the time he joined the LP, the party under which he was elected had been scrapped and he decided not to join any new party saying “I did not defect from any political party.”
Bamidele said he would want his own to be a test case to determine whether a man who was elected on a party that had seized to exist can join another party and whether taking such action constitute an offence.