By Demola Atobaba
At a final make-or-break meeting between former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Ekiti House of Representatives member, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, about two years ago, Bamidele had insisted on leaving the All Progressives Congress to contest the June 21, 2014 governorship election against his erstwhile buddy, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
He had said at the meeting held at Boudillion, Ikoyi, Lagos residence of the ex-governor to the surprise of some of those present that he would “rather offend Tinubu than offend the people of Ekiti State who wanted him to run”.
Both Tinubu and the lawmaker, who had served in Tinubu’s government in Lagos in various capacities, had then finally parted ways.
In anger, the former governor was said to have told some close associates that “Bamidele’s place in Yoruba politics will be worse than that of Chief Akin Omoboriowo” of Ondo 1983 election saga.
Bamidele eventually contested the election on Labour Party platform and came a distant third to Mr. Ayodele Fayose who won the poll and Fayemi who came second. But before the election, he was said to have had a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan where he allegedly entered into a deal to back Fayose in the race, without declaring for PDP, in a bid to decimate Fayemi’s chances.
Tinubu has now gone back on his words; he has fully reconciled with Bamidele.
Last week the former governor led the APC to receive the recalcitrant lawmakers during General Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign rally in Ado-Ekiti.
WESTERN POST can now reveal why Tinubu ‘ate’ his words and accepted Bamidele back into the party.
The official reason given by the APC for the rapproachment with Bamidele was the need to strengthen the party in Ekiti in order to deliver the state to General Buhari in the February 14 election.
However, competent sources within Tinubu’s inner circle said it’s much more than that.
The former Lagos governor is said to be getting more and more incensed about the actions and utterances of Governor Fayose and has resolved to cut him to size.
To do this, he needs a grassroots politician and strong character like Bamidele to engage Governor Fayose.
“Asiwaju Tinubu is really pissed off with Fayose and his antics. He has sworn to move against the governor and he needs a rampaging politician like Opeyemi to do the job,” one source close to the former governor said.
Besides, the reconciliation with Bamidele has always been hot on the demand of former governor of Ekiti State and APC Deputy National Chairman, Chief Segun Oni.
As a matter of fact, the newspaper learnt that Oni had made it a condition for joining the party last year from the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to the source, it was therefore no surprise that Oni led a delegation of APC leaders to Iyin-Ekiti country home of Bamidele to persuade him to return to the opposition party.
With the rapproachment sealed, Bamidele appeared at the APC campaign rally in Ado-Ekiti where he pledged to work for Buhari’s victory in the election.
Speaking on the return to APC, Tinubu said jokingly that “Bamidele is back; ko se lebira mon,” meaning the lawmaker has come back, he is not engaged inhired labour again.