Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele has said God has preserved his life to aspire to a higher level of service in the state.
He reflected on how he survived an accidental discharge from a policeman at the party secretariat in Ado-Ekiti while carrying out his duties as the director general of Fayemi Campaign Organisation in 2018.
Bamidele, who recalled the anxious moment at a parley with reporters in Lagos, said God prevented what would have amounted to an untimely death and permanent incapacitation.
The federal legislator from Ekiti Central District said God spared his life to fulfil a special mission.
“I was saved to serve,” recalled Bamidele, who narrated the gory June 20, 2018 experience of how bullets pierced through his body without hitting his liver and lungs.
He said: “I owe it a duty to serve, to aspire to serve, to place at the disposal of Ekiti my God-given talents. We need to take Ekiti out of poverty and despair.”
The senator, who also said that he later campaigned vigorously with colostomy bags in his body, recalled that over 300 people volunteered to donate blood to him out of love.
Bamidele, a pro-democracy crusader and former Lagos State Information and Strategy Commissioner, said the 30-year old highly educated and endowed state should be led by a man of great exposure and competence in post-Fayemi era.
He flaunted his credentials as a national student leader, patriot, lawyer, rights activist, former commissioner, one-time member of House of Representatives, chairman of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and member of the Body of Benchers.
He paid tribute to Governor Kayode Fayemi for his understanding of the language of democracy and development, promising to build on his legacies, if elected as governor.
Bamidele said he had informed the governor about his bid, adding that the amicable resolution of past disagreements heralded his emergence as his campaign director general in 2018.
Noting that many aspirants are warming up for the shadow poll, he said the governor would be interested in a candidate who could win the general election.
Describing himself as a product of transparent direct primary, Bamidele said it was natural that he would prefer the mode through which he emerged as a senatorial candidate before scoring 94,600 votes at the polls.
He said since Ekiti can be volatile during electioneering, he is not oblivious of the fact that power is not served a la carte.
The aspirant acknowledged the agitation for zoning to Ekiti South by contenders from the district, saying the moral argument is legitimate.
He said although he is not opposed to the clamour, there has been no attempt by the two main political parties to act on it.
Bamidele noted that observers have also pointed out that the homogeneous Ekiti State is not like Ogun State, which diversity is underscored by Egba, Yewa, Ijebu and Remo.
Acknowledging the harsh economic realities, complaints about hard times by Nigerians and the difficulty of paying workers’ salaries and N30,000 minimum wage in some states, he said: “This is why I am running and I am prepared to excel.”
Bamidele promised to explore the agricultural and solid mineral potential to develop the state, stressing that he will continue what Fayemi has started.