by Dare Lawal
Opeyemi Bamidele, a member of the House of Representatives from Ekiti state wants to be governor of the South West state and has never hidden his ambitions. It was obvious though that the APC, the party on whose platform he was elected to the national assembly was intent on giving the incumbent governor Kayode Fayemi the party’s ticket in the Ekiti guber poll scheduled for this year. Bamidele knew that to achieve his ambition, he had to take a shot from outside the APC.
However, reading Bamidele’s letter to the House formally announcing his defection to the Labour Party, you wouldn’t know that his ambitions had anything to do with his defection. In his letter, he claimed that his reason for leaving APC dated back to the start of merger talks among the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, the Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria Peoples Party.
He said he didn’t believe that the merger was a good idea and did not wish that “my party, the ACN,” should be part of the merger.
As he made his explanations, LP members, Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers, among others were seen shaking hands with him and congratulating him on his decision to join LP.
Because of the wave of defections ongoing in the House these days, there were speculations that Bamidele’s defection erodes the APC’s slim majority in the House. However, the House minority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, explained that the Ekiti lawmaker had never been included in the calculation since he had already left the party.
He said, “Let me state that Bamidele was not in the initial numerical configuration that gave birth to the majority status of the APC about two months ago. From the record of the APC House Caucus, his name had been deleted long before his official communication of defection today. I wish to reaffirm that the majority status of the APC status remains intact.”