I have not breached the laws of the state – Bamidele

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
A member of the House of Representatives and  gubernatorial aspirant under the umbrella of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele has said he did not breached any portion of the existing laws to warrant police disruption of his programme

Police and the coalition of driver’s union had on Thursday  disrupted the launching of Bibire Coalition,the political platform under which Bamidele intends to vie for 2014 governorship election

Police image maker,Victor Babayemi defended the action of the police on the alleged breach of the existing law,citing Section 99 of 2011 Electoral Law( as amended)

Speaking with the newsmen at the police headquarters in Ado Ekiti yesterday,the lawmaker who faulted the action of the police, said he had earlier sought police permit which was eventually granted, insisting that it was not a political campaign

The lawmaker who is representing Ado Ekiti , Irepodun-Ifelodun Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives said no amount of intimidation would make him back down on his resolve to dislodge Governor Kayode Fayemi out of the Government House in 2014.

The APC chieftain who expressed his disappointment at the way his rally was botched by combined forces of the Police and commercial drivers on Thursday, said about 40 of his supporters are still being detained by the Police in connection with the Thursday’s botched rally.

He said it was wrong for the Police to have concluded that the rally breached Section 99 of the Electoral Act 2011 as amended, when he actually took permission from them  to hold same .

“Apart from about 40 of my supporters that are in detention, many of them had fled into the bush as a result of threats  from government’s officials, particularly Governor Fayemi political aides. Some of them are even in the hospital because of fatal injuries they sustained.

“I have decided to surrender myself to the Police because if there is anybody to be arrested in connection with the rally , it has to be me. But I want to state that no amount of intimidation will  make me withdraw from the race”.

On the allegation from then Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Victor Babayemi that the rally violated section 99 of the electoral Act, Bamidele, said “ I am a Lawyer and a Federal Legislator. Section 99 is very clear on what a politician must do under this circumstance.

“What we did was not a campaign but the launching of Ekiti Bibire coalition. We did not parade  political placards and banners or campaign about 2014, so the insinuation was wrong”.

Bamidele,however described the police action as unfortunate, the Lawmaker , said “though, I agree with the police that  the rally was to take place in my Bibire Office in Basiri, but it is not possible to do such programme without going round the town. I even took  Ikere-Ado Ekiti, which is the shortest route to the State Capital.

“But the kind of solidarity I received from Ekiti people had further strengthened my resolve in the race. I have gone beyond a point where one can be contemplating withdrawal . It will be amounted to betrayal of trust if I do that at this point.

“I want to declare that the Police had helped in the success of my declaration. Though, they fired teargas at my supporters, but they were the one in conjunction with the men of the Nigerian Army that removed all the barricades mounted by the hoodlums  that took over the Ado Ekiti capital city in the morning.

“What they wanted was that, they wanted the State capital to be barricaded entirely  so that nothing will happen at all , but the Police made the declaration possible. We thank God that the intervention of some prominent people, who called the Commissioner of Police and Inspector General of Police made things happened.

“The attempt made by agents of government to disrupt  the rally had actually announced me to the people. When you are favoured by God, it is your enemies that will announce you.

“They thought they will use the power of incumbency to outspend us, but the will of God and the power of the people shall prevail in the end”, Bamidele declared.

He said the State needs the coalition of like-minded and  well-meaning Ekiti indigenes to rescue the State from the pangs of bad governance .

“What we need now is a coalition of well-meaning Ekiti indigenes to transform the State and give the people a government with  human face. People chased military away because they lacked respect for human values. We have decided to make our campaign very scientific and no amount of pressure will make us deviate from this”, Bamidele assured.

Meanwhile, women  under the auspices of Market women Association of Nigeria, Ekiti chapter, yesterday staged a protest over alleged disruption of the market in Ado Ekiti during the botched rally  organized by Hon Opeyemi Bamidele last  Thursday.

Addressing women at the site of the new Bisi Market at Awedele in Basiri Area of Ado Ekiti, the Spokesperson of the group, Mrs Idowu Alen, alleged that some party thugs had invaded the market and destroyed their wares while being tear-gased by the police during the rally .

She  said,  they were not comfortable with losses suffered by their members during the violence, calling on all political parties to conform to all relevant laws  and be wary of their political activities to prevent breakdown of law and order.

Alen, who also doubles as Iyaloja of Igbole Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government, appealed to politicians  to eschew violence and treat the market women with dignity to prevent anarchy in the State.

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