A coalition of 82 youth groups, under the “Coalition of Youth Support Group”, has endorsed Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele as its anointed Governorship candidate for June 18 election in Ekiti.
Opeyemi is currently the Senator representing Ekiti Central at the National Assembly.
At a news conference in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday ahead of the primary, the state Coordinator of the group, Mr Gbenga Adedamola, described Bamidele as “the most experienced and competent APC aspirant to fly the party’s ticket in the Governorship election”.
Adedamola appealed to APC youths across the state to support Bamidele’s aspiration.
According to him, Bamidele fondly known as “MOB”, he remained the best for the state among the aspirants parading themselves for the coveted seat.
Describing him as a loyal party chieftain, Adedamola said: “For the continuity agenda of Gov. Kayode Fayemi, Bamidele remains the best man to sustain this legacy.
“Any disconnection may affect the developmental focus of our dear state.
“With his experience spanning over 30 years across executive, legislative and judiciary strata, we believe that he has the experience, exposure and right connections to take Ekiti to a higher pedestal banking on what Fayemi has done as a springboard.”
The coordinator said that God had anointed Bamidele to turn around the fortunes of the state, if given the opportunity to occupy the governorship seat.
He said that youth employment, human and infrastructure development, commercial agriculture, free and compulsory basic education, tourism development, robust healthcare delivery and reformed civil service would be the kernel and policy thrust of his administration.
Adedamola said: “We have already prepared a blueprint for him as our expectations as youths.
“We are optimism that with the anointing of God upon him, he will surely turn the state around in which dividends of democracy will spread across the elders, men, women, youths and children.”
On the alleged endorsement of a particular aspirant above others, the group coordinator said: “If they are trying to deceive us, we refused to be deceived or cajoled.
“No one can be endorsed in the direct primary, all aspirants are given the opportunity to try their popularity.
“Our own MOB also has the right to drop anybody’s name as his sponsor, but we are sure he will not do that, because he already has a clean slate and good name in the hearts of all Ekiti people that is selling him.
“So, what does he need anybody’s name for ? We, therefore, appeal to all qualified members of the party to vote for him with the assurance that he will not disappoint, if given the mandate.”
On the contentions surrounding his claim that he funded the party when it lost control of Ekiti in 2003, till when Fayemi mounted the saddle of governance in 2010, Bamidele said: “Myself, alongside some other leaders, were responsible for the sustenance of our party from May 29, 2003.
“When our leader, Niyi Adebayo left office till Oct.16, 2010. The records are there.”
He said that it was in the course of his service to the party as the Director-General of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation that he was shot on June 1, 2018. We are thanking God for saving his life.
“Between 2000 and 2002, he served as the National Director of Publicity of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and have also deployed his God-given talents, professional skills and wealth of experience in the service to the party from AD to AC, ACN and APC.
“As a thorough-bred party chieftain and grassroots mobiliser, we are sure that he knows how best to take good care of the party, leaders, stalwarts and teeming members.
“This shall not be to the detriment of Ekiti people’s growth and development,” he said.
Adedamola, therefore, appealed to the leadership of the party, both at the national and state levels, to create a level playing field for all the aspirants in the state.
According to him, this is because, the outcome of the primary election will determine the performance and chances of the party in its quest to win the June 18 Governorship election.