I read with amusement , the unexpected diatribes coming from the former Deputy Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Karounwi Oladapo over a comment allegedly credited to Senator Opeyemi Bamidele on the funding of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria during the post Niyi Adebayo’s era in Ekiti State.
Bamidele is widely known as a tactical and methodical politician. Always circumspect of what he says and acts while taking political steps. He doesn’t give to flippancy or talk to impress anyone. He talks with precision and sense of decency, unlike those whose stock in trade is to throw jibes when least expected to impress and seek undue political relevance while running commentaries.
Bamidele, according to Karounwi claimed to have unilaterally funded the party from 2003 after Niyi Adebayo lost the election until 2010 when Governor Kayode Fayemi became governor when he formally declared his governorship ambition at the APC Secretariat on Thursday.
In his characteristic manner, this self- styled political “parrot” ranted on the top of voice throwing caution to the winds and anchored his troubles with that comment on that fact that it derided and undermined the personage of Otunba Niyi Adebayo, whom he said was actually the person taking care of the party.
Ordinarily, I would have just allowed the tantrums from Karounwi to roll out without reply being what he is. His main preoccupation has been to run people down , create cleavages between two political friends for him to survive.
Senator Bamidele as an experienced politician knew that politics is a bully game. But he won’t allow anyone to heckle and cow him over a sincere comment he made while reminiscing on his past deeds in Ekiti progressive politics.
Let me use this medium to situate the comment properly, so that those in the ilk of Karounwi, who have warped and twisted minds can be properly educated.
What Senator Bamidele said while addressing party leaders, led by the Chairman, Hon Paul Omotoso was that, he singlehandedly paid the rent of the party Secretariat during that period of lull, when the then AD / ACN was experiencing serious troubles with Ekiti under the firm grip of the PDP.
Bamidele also added that he also extended the same benevolence to many of the leaders, whose generosity touched in no small measures.
It is no gainsaying the fact that Bamidele was at that time serving in the far away LAGOS as a commissioner and he mustered financial warchess and was in vantage position to dispense favour to people and he neither shirked nor faltered in this responsibility.
The Senator also added that he used to deploy a trailer load of rice containing 650 bags of rice to Ekiti every Christmas during that time for onward distribution to party members. Let Karounwi controverts this fact if truly he still has any scintilla of integrity as a politician.
Though every politician makes comments for political capital during contest, but What the Senator said was meant to refresh the party’s memory on how well he had served the party in times of troubles, when the likes of Karounwi were hobnobbing with the PDP at night to extract crumbs for survival.
Throughout the 27 minutes the Senator stood to address the party, he never alluded to the fact that he singlehandedly financed the party. He only mentioned what he did to buoy the party’s chances of returning to power. He never claimed the glory all alone as being venomously twisted by some people.
In actual fact, what the Senator did was not different from what other aspirants, including Biodun Oyebanji had been doing. The immediate past SSG had always be chorusing how he joined other Ekiti professionals and traditional rulers to form a committee for the creation of Ekiti State. This is a good point and others too must be allowed to catalogue their points like the proverbial: “Arise Larika, Arika ni Baba Iregun”.
Records they say don’t lie. The records about the payment of rent for party Secretariat and contributions are there for anybody’s perusal. Let the skeptics, who found the comment so scorching and uncomfortable to search the party’s records and come with counterclaims, rather than making schizophrenic comments. This extremely disordered comment from Karounwi was a misdirected venom coming from a tainted meddlesome interloper.
We were all alive when Senator Bamidele in 2009 donated seven buses to the then Action Congress in one swell swoop. The then PDP under Segun Oni shivered that day and felt oppressed with the way this enigmatic gesture was done.
This is a democracy, people can hold dissenting views. But if anyone would counter the Senator’s claims, it has to be credible individuals like Chief Jide Awe and the then Secretary, Barrister Ogunleye, who stood firm to rescue the ACN from total collapse, not those who had ran out of steam and were running to the then government for emergency life support.
In case Karounwi didn’t know,Hon Paul Omotoso, who displayed outstanding maturity and candour during Bamidele’s declaration corroborated all what the Senator itemised to have done to bolster the party in Ekiti.
Senator Bamidele and Otunba Niyi Adebayo ditto governor Kayode Fayemi were like Siamese triplets. They were together during the worst of times, perfecting strategies and cross fertilising ideas on how to reposition the progressive party in Ekiti, which Karounwi and others are underservedly savouring today.
Despite being in politics before Governor Fayemi, Senator Bamidele was so humble enough during the declaration to allude to the governor as his friend ,leader and father to all APC members in Ekiti, including himself.
In a brazen fashion, he branded Otunba Niyi Adebayo as a leader and father. What humility could have been more than this ?
Let it be lucidly stated that , if Senator Bamidele could be humble to describe Fayemi as a leader, what effrontery would he have to disrespect Otunba Niyi Adebayo, his kinsman, brother, leader and tutor?
Like Senator Bamidele said, this campaigns should be more of issues. He said he has nobody to fight and that those acting like Adolf Hitler should shelve their swords. senator Bamidele had promised that every invidious action being contrived by enemies of progress to spark up crisis between him and these respectable leaders will be vehemently resisted.
For the sake of clarity, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele never arrogated the funding of the party at that time to himself alone; he only mentioned those things he had done and whoever wants to disprove his contributions should come to the open with verifiable evidence.
SOLA OYEOLA WRITES FROM ARAMOKO EKITI