Following the recent shooting that happened in Ekiti where former House of Representatives member, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele was shot, the former lawmaker has been appointed as the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Campaign Council in Ekiti State.
The APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, announced the appointment at a news conference in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday shortly after the party inaugurated the State Campaign Council.
The State Campaign Council, he said, will work with the National Campaign Council headed by Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu to achieve victory for the party at the July 14 poll.
Chairmen of the various committees in the State Campaign Council include Otunba Niyi Adebayo (Finance) Hon Femi Bamsile (Mobilisation Committee), Mrs Bisi Fayemi (Women Committee), Hon Omowumi Ogunlola (Welfare and Protocol), Mr. Biodun Fasakin (Legal Committee), Mr. Taiwo Olatunbosun (Media and Publicity), Mr. Alaba Abejide (Contact),
Dr Bayo Orire (Health), Mr. Femi Ogundare (Youth), Group Capt. Ropo Ayegbusi (Security) and Chief Awe (Special Purpose).
Fayemi revealed that the flag off rally will be held on June 19 by the party’s national leadership while the final grand rally has been slated for July 10 to be led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added that many bigwigs in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will defect to APC in the course of the electioneering.
The APC flag bearer said the campaign will reach all the 130 towns and villages in the state to sell the party’s development agenda to the electorate.
Fayemi, also used the forum to debunk a story in a national newspaper (not The Nation) that Bamidele has been flown to the United Kingdom for post-surgery treatment.
The former Minister of Mines and Steel Development disclosed that he was with Bamidele in Lagos till 1.00 am on Sunday where he is recuperating from the wounds received at a shooting incident at the party secretariat on June 1.
Fayemi explained that Bamidele had been nominated for the position of campaign chief before the shooting incident and would remain in that position despite his present condition.
“We thank God that those injured during the last (shooting) incident are recuperating well and I want to emphasize that Hon. Bamidele is in Nigeria, he has not gone anywhere.
“Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele is still with Nigeria, I was with him this morning and he is fast recuperating well.
“He is well and recuperating and anytime he decides to leave Nigeria, we will share the information. He intends to be in Nigeria until the times he decides to leave.
“Hon. Bamidele has accepted to be the Director General of the Campaign and in his absence (for now), the Deputy Director General will carry on with the work in collaboration with the party.”
Fayemi disclosed that the full campaign of the APC commences on Monday with a visit to Ekiti East Local Government Area noting that house-to-house and unit-by-unit canvassing had begun earlier.
He added that his team has been meeting with various interest groups like market women, core civil servants, teachers, artisans, private sector, youths, students, election observers, among others.
Fayemi disclosed that another team led by the deputy governorship campaign, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has been meeting with traditional rulers seeking their support for the APC ticket.
While noting that there is a lot of interest in the Ekiti poll, Fayemi said he and his team had met with representatives of the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the Election Situation Room.
He said: “We have an intelligence that some individuals were planning to cause mayhem in the course of the electioneering but expressed confidence in the security agencies to deal with any situation that may arise.”
Fayemi gave a commitment on behalf of his party to run a peaceful campaign while calling on security agencies to protect party members against any form of attack.
He added: “Security agencies met with our chairman and chairmen of other parties and we have furnished them with the intelligence of a plot to wreak violence.
“We believe our security agencies will do everything possible to prevent outbreak of violence. During our campaigns, we will continue to receive members from the opposition party (PDP).
“Senior figures (In PDP) will keep decamping to our party and we will continue to receive them. It will be clear to you that by the time the process ends, no one will be left in the PDP.
“As far as we are concerned in APC, we remain united and intact and every aspirant has donated one thing or the other including vehicles and their men to the campaign.”
Earlier, the APC Chairman, Chief Olajide Awe, promised to give the State Campaign Council and its various committees maximum support to be victorious in the coming election.