Ahead of Saturday’s governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti, an aspirant, Opeyemi Bamidele, on Tuesday declared that he was not stepping down for anyone as being speculated in some quarters.
The former Lagos State Commissioner for Information, who addressed delegates for the primary in Ado-Ekiti, described as “laughable” the rumour making the rounds that he had stepped down.
He said there was no reason for him to quit when he was convinced that he had a good chance of clinching the party’s ticket.
Bamidele stated that with the assurances given by the APC National leader, Bola Tinubu and other leaders of the party at a meeting held in Lagos on Friday, he had no reason to doubt the credibility of the process.
He said he expected the party leaders to conduct a free, fair and credible primary that would produce a strong candidate that would be able to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party candidate.
Bamidele said: “It will be tragic for APC to lose after passing through this stress; so we must do the right thing for us to get the right result.
“I have traversed all the 177 wards and I am now visiting all the 16 local governments in search of delegates.
“At 54, if I want to step down, I won’t waste time, energy and money moving around. I will not even pretend in telling the public about it.
“Let me say that I am on the field, in the race and on Saturday, we are looking forward to getting the ticket by the grace of God.”
Counselling the delegates on the choice of candidate they should vote for, Bamidele said they should choose someone who has the acceptability and clout to win as well as the knack to organise the party and make it a formidable force.
He said: “APC needs an experienced person and someone with scientific understanding of what has gone wrong in Ekiti and how to resolve it.
“I have been commissioner for over 10 years in executive arm, I have been a member of House of Representatives and I am also a lawyer, which falls within the judicial arm.
“I will not in any way disappoint if given the ticket because I am a loyal party man and I know how to work with everybody to get the useful result.”
On the sincerity of members of the Chief John Oyegun-led National Working Committee to conduct credible primary, Bamidele said: “I have no reason to doubt their integrity”.
He added: “All the aspirants had gone through screening and as we were doing this, we were given a copy of delegates’ list each. We all know who will vote on Saturday.
“With this, I don’t envisage that anyone would try to tamper with the list or see anyone trying to do accreditation at another location different from where they will vote which can give opportunity to transport fake delegates to the venue.
“The NWC, National and zonal leaders as well as the aspirants have agreed on some pacts and I believe these shall be allowed to prevail in this election.”