The former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and a serving member of the House of Representatives representing Ado Ekiti/ Irepodun-Ifelodun Federal Constituency, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, Sunday expressed disagreement over the position of the state government to the attack on his convoy in Igede Ekiti on April 12.
The disagreement stemmed from statements allegedly credited to one Tajudeen Olufemi Awe, a retired soldier, who is the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of the state, that the attack was by the youths of Igede Ekiti, who were angry that he failed to fulfil his electoral promises.
Awe, who said he was speaking on behalf of the state government, had allegedly accused Opeyemi of mismanaging the sum of N187 million “released” to the local government for the implementation of constituency projects.
He also alleged that the lawmaker was attacked by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members because the man he went to visit in Igede Ekiti was a member of the PDP.
But Opeyemi, who in a statement he personally signed, insisted that it was verifiable fact that himself and any other House of Representatives member did not receive any money in respect of constituency projects asked if “Governor Kayode Fayemi (on whose behalf he claimed to be acting), releases money to members of Ekiti State House of Assembly in respect of constituency projects rather than have the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the state government execute the projects in the various constituencies as provided for by law.”
While noting that he never alleged that he was attacked by ACN members in Igede Ekiti, Opeyemi reiterated that as a founding member and loyal member of ACN, he would continue to hold the party in high esteem: “I have not done anything that would make either the leadership or any of the well meaning members of the party take any step to hurt me.
“However, it is common knowledge that I, on principle and based on my own understanding of participatory democracy, have reacted to certain developments within the party in Ekiti State in a manner that appears to have incurred the wrath of certain political principality and power as well as individuals within the state who feel they are bigger than the party and who have vowed to run me out of the party and, if possible, out of Ekiti.”
While insisting his identification of Awe and some others as the masterminds of the violent attack is not a basis to pitch him against the leadership and members of the ACN, Opeyemi maintained that: “The whole world knows those who are after my life. Ekiti people know their pedigrees, which is violence. So I don’t need to finger all the members of my party in this show of shame and political rascality.”
He said no leader or member of the ACN in Ekiti State would hold it against him that he expressed dislike for an “illegal dissolution of ward and local government excos of the party and recomposition of same by state government appointees without ward and local government congresses in accordance with the party’s constitution and which has led to the factionalisation of the party. No well meaning leader or member of the party would begrudge me for insisting on my right and the right of other members of the party who so desire to aspire within the party in spite of blatant attempts at coercing everyone to a skewed and stage managed endorsement that could only have decisively decimated the party in Ekiti State.”
According to him, within the first year of my membership of the House of Representatives, he attracted thirty three different infrastructural development projects to his constituency, emphasising that the details can be verified in the 2012 annual budget of the federal government.
“In the same vein, I am attracting twenty-seven additional projects to my constituency this year as contained in the year 2013 annual budget of the federal government. These include eleven primary health centres, two Blocks of classrooms, four ICT centres, 14 motorised boreholes, library, electricity transformers and street lights in different towns of Ado-Ekiti and Irepodun/Ifelodun local government areas, many of which are in different stages of construction with some already completed.”
While assuring his teeming supporters that he would remain committed to actualising “unprecedented achievements” and sustain his “robust representation of the people on the floor of the House as well as my several social welfare and empowerment programmes that make the people of Ekiti State treat me as a hero everywhere I go”, for which he said: “Ekiti people are willing to entrust me with greater responsibility.”
He vowed to remain resolute in the pursuit of my political aspiration driven by an irrevocable commitment to good cause and global best practice standard by which the glory and integrity for which the state had been known can be brought back from sabbatical.