Julius Toba Jegede
Efforts by Labour Party’s governorship candidate Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele to continue his campaign activities at the weekend suffered a major setback following a warning issued to him to stay off Isan Ekiti.
Isan Ekiti in Oye Local Government Area is the hometown of Governor Kayode Fayemi, the All Progressives Congress (APC’s) candidate in the June 21st election where Bamidele is also a major contender.
It was confirmed how the monarch, HRH Sunday Ajiboye had on Friday placed repeated phone calls to Bamidele few hours before the commencement of his scheduled rally at the market square in Isan Ekiti.
The governor’s hometown is known to be sharply divided between LP and APC supporters, but attempts had been made earlier on Friday to stop pasting of Bamidele’s posters by his supporters anywhere in the town.
Bamide, who was carrying out a similar rally at Itaji Ekiti, about 10km from Isan Ekiti at the time of receiving the call, was told by the Oba that he could not guarantee Bamidele’s safety if he held the rally in his domain.
It was also confirmed that Oba Ajiboye hinged his warnings on the fact that APC youths in the town were already armed to the teeth and were ready to cause havoc on any LP member sighted campaigning in Isan Ekiti.
Reliable sources close to Bamidele said frantic efforts by him and leaders of his campaign organisation to convince the monarch to reverse the ban failed.
The situation became worse as he was said to have also refused to even see them in camera for a private discussion.
Stern-looking thugs suspected to be those of APC were seen manning the gate of the palace which was at the same time put under lock.
Meanwhile, it took the intervention of men of the SSS and policemen attached to Bamidele and his supporters to ensure safety.
The security agents guided Bamidele’s convoy out of Isan Ekiti at about 5pm after unsuccessfully awaiting the monarch’s approval for about one hour, before proceeding to Ayede Ekiti for another rally.
As a result, supporters of Bamidele in Isan Ekiti have alleged that the monarch was acting on the instruction of Governor Fayemi.
They condemned his attitude for making himself a tool in the hand of a partisan politicians (Fayemi) who they claimed had not spent a night in their midst nor cited any project there.
Adekunle Falade, an LP Ward leader in the town said: “Oba Ajiboye had sown a permanent seed of discord among his subjects by that singular act. As from today, he’s no longer our king but king of only APC members in Isan Ekiti. He has disrespected the thrown of Onisan in the comity of Obas, this has never happened in the history of politics of this town.”