ACN Moves Against Bamidele As Ekiti Caucus In House Of Reps Remove Him As Leader

Opeyemi BamideleRep. Opeyemi Bamidele might have stepped on big toes with his declaration, contrary to the wish of his party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leadership, to vie for the governorship position of Ekiti State as members of the State Caucus in the House of Representatives Tuesday announced his suspension as their leader.

Bamidele was the leader of the caucus and Chairs the House Committee on Legislative Budget.

Bamidele, according to a statement signed by the five lawmakers including Robison Ajiboye, Bamidele Faparusi, Bimbo Daramola, Dr. Ifeoluwa Arowosoge, and Oyetunde Ojo, has the constitutional rights to vie for any position in the country, “but he cannot ventilate that against the philosophy of our party.”

Addressing a press briefing, the new leader, Robinson Ajiboye, who was in company of his National Assembly colleagues yesterday, said the caucus in the House “affirm the inalienable right of Hon Michael Opeyemi Bamidele to his ambition and to freely exercise same, but where we differ is if such ambition runs contrary to the philosophy and the will of Ekiti people who offered us the platform and mandate, not primarily because of who we are but our demonstrated commitment to a collective aspiration to serve the good people of Ekiti as members of the House of Representatives, Our Party the ACN soon to be APC can ill afford the consequences of taking on this step on a shaky ground.

“The 2014 election will consolidate the tangible results of the collective rescue mission that brought us into power under the resoundingly endorsed leadership and administration of His Excellency Dr. John Kayode Fayemi.

“We wish to inform the false prophets, the backers, handlers, of this personal enterprise and venture of Hon Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, those who have the mandate to fund this journey to perfidy on the road of infamy that every step of the way, Ekiti’s are resoundingly united behind the decision to have Dr John Kayode Fayemi in office till 2018,” he said.

Speaking further, Ajiboye said: “Our Party is stronger than ever before, and the history of Ekiti is replete with examples of those who tried to arm twist the people politically, we urge the backers of this ill fated enterprise to avail themselves with our history as a people; such history of erstwhile prominent political persons who embarked on perfidy trip against the people and the attendant consequences.

“The integrity of his leadership of the Ekiti State House of Representatives caucus and by extension Chairmanship of the House Committee on Legislative Budget being result of his assumed commitment to the collective philosophy of better life for the people of Ekiti that he represents and the bigger picture and vision as being pursued relentlessly by His Excellency Gov. Kayode Fayemi has been totally compromised irretrievably.

“It naturally follows that since he does not feel too comfortable with the party the most honorable thing to do is for resign this lofty position as Leader of the caucus, since we cannot be a caucus any more if the presumed leader of the caucus has a different inclination and persuasion that runs contrary to the other five members of the caucus. As democrats, one of the trite principles of the democracy is that dissent of opinion is allowed, but majority will always carry the day, in this case, Hon. Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele is clearly in the minority, of one against five.

“It is in view of these reasons that we the members of the Ekiti State caucus of the House of Representatives feel obligated to inform the general public that Hon Michael Opeyemi Bamidele is removed as the leader of the caucus and also to convey this resolution to the leadership of the House thatnthe Chairmanship slot immediately is transferred to our new leader, Hon Robinson Ajiboye, and the attendant post of Committee Chairman on Legislative Budget,” he added.

According to him, “The gubernatorial election of 2014 is not just another election to Ekiti people; it is not an invitation to a popularity contest, which in any case if it were, the incumbent Governor will win any day on the basis of the tangible pro-real Ekiti people initiatives and sustained developmental works that he has done.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. The longer the mess continues the messier it will become. We need quick action by PDP to resolve this problem and stop messing with our State. Amaechi may or may not be at fault; we may not know the true story but what matters now is stability of the State.

  2. Response by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

    IT has been reported that members of the Ekiti State Caucus in the House of Representatives suspended Hon. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, as their leader because of his alleged declaration to contest the governorship election next year.

    I have not seen an official word through the party machinery about this action. However, I feel compelled to speak, to dispel rumour and false report from assuming the aspect of fact.

    The news of the purported removal of Opeyemi Bamidele came as a surprise. The decision of the members of the Ekiti House Caucus in this regard truncates ongoing efforts at reconciliation, notwithstanding the fact that the party leadership is working hard to reconcile all sides.

    What took some members of the leadership of the party to Ekiti State recently was a continuation of the process of appeal and reconciliation. The objective here is to first understand and iron out the issues that have resulted in a gulf between Opeyemi Bamidele and Governor Kayode Fayemi on one hand and the party towards building a formidable political house in Ekiti.

    From my vantage point, I don’t believe the members of the Ekiti Caucus could possibly take such a step for such a scant reason. I trust their democratic pedigree to highly believe that they would not be used to take this false step, which would violate established party rules, processes and traditions.

    For instance, decisions of this critical nature must be done with the consultation of the national leadership of the party. From what I can gather, our National Chairman and the party’s leadership were never consulted or notified about the pendency of such a stark action.

    For that reason alone, if such an action has been taken, those who did so should retrace their steps, to avoid creating an unnecessary difficulty for themselves and the Ekiti chapter of the party.

    Beyond the issue of procedure and rules, there is the tiny matter of internal party democracy to consider. I have said before, any party member has a right to contest the governorship of Ekiti or any other state. Any other person, including Opeyemi Bamidele, has the right to.

    This right is so fundamental to internal democracy that I do not believe he should be sanctioned at this point where the most he has done is make unofficial statements about contesting. Our party cannot join the club of other parties that punish members for expressing interests in an office.

    While Opeyemi Bamidele’s position may not be popular among his colleagues, he has the right to believe as he does.

    We must protect and smother unpopular and minority positions. If we don’t like it, we vote against it at the appropriate time but we do not punish people simply for thinking differently; this is how we must grow our democracy.

    Thus, Opeyemi Bamidele was expressing his democratic rights. To unilaterally suspend him, as Leader of the House Caucus, is a questionable one they should reconsider. It would appear to contravene the letter and best spirit of party democracy.

    While we have no problem in him pursuing his democratic ambition without intimidation and persecution, we will continue our efforts at persuading him not to rock the boat and play into the hands of our opponent, particularly the PDP shenanigans.

    Political conflict, challenges and resolutions are the hallmarks of political association and leadership; orderly means of all efforts at democratically resolving those conflicts are not endless in any way.

    Accordingly, I urge our five lawmakers: Robinson Ajiboye, Bamidele Faparusi, Bimbo Daramola, Dr. Ifeoluwa Arowosoge, and Oyetunde Ojo to reverse themselves and embrace the process of amicable resolution already put in place by the party, and that have been producing good fruit.

    To do otherwise is to give comfort to those who would seek to divide the Ekiti State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria.

    We appeal to those promoting these divisions to sheathe the sword in the interest of the party and its ardent followers.

    We cannot forget so soon the struggle and what it cost us to get to where we are today. We owe it to the Ekiti people and all democrats in the country to sustain and protect this hard-won democracy.

    All true progressives must rise up in defence of individual freedom and promotion of democratic values. We shall overcome for the good of all.

    • Asiwaju Tinubu is leader of ACN.

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