Written by: Julius Toba Jegede
Initial claim that the governorship candidate of Labour Party in Ekiti state does not collect salary in the House of Representatives where he is currently a member was yesterday confirmed by prominent Ekiti indigenes.
This confirmation came from two sitting monarchs in the state who publicly gave testimonies of how their subjects had benefited from the money accruing to a special account, often running to several millions of Naira.
Recall that Bamidele’s promise during his ongoing campaign rally telling Ekiti people that he would not collect salary if voted to office again as a governor is being criticised by his opponents as a mere political talk.
The lawmaker had revealed how a Fund Management Committee made up of various interest groups across his Ado Ekiti/Irepodun/Ifelodun federal constituency have been in charge of the money since June 2011.
To further ascertain this claim, the monarchs; Oniropora of Iropora-Ekiti and Elesure of Esure-Ekiti said they were living witnesses to his claim.
The Oniropora, Oba Joel Ajayi Olonilua at his palace on Thursday said “I’m a living witness to how Bamidele’s salary as a member of House of Reps is being drawn and spent in the last three and half years”
“I can say this boldly because I’m a member of the Fund Management Committee set up to manage how these monies are being spent. I’m a not the only one, there are other monarchs in this committee and it has met its target”
“Sometimes we use it to pay school fees, a times we use it to meet urgent needs of widows, orphans and as intervention to other public needs”
He added that, “Since the history of this town began, I’m proud to say that the only government presence here, which is a primary healthcare center was made possible by Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele”
Similarly, the Elesure of Esure-Ekiti Oba (HRH) Adebanji Ajibola attested to being a member of the committee.
Oba Ajibola revealed that “Just last year, a number of our children in tertiary institution benefited scholarships through the proceeds of Bamidele’s salary as a federal lawmaker”
“Through my membership of that committee, I have been able to get assistance for many widows, orphans and the needy who are also my subjects. We sit every six months where we decide what to do with the money”
He added that during Bamidele’s tenure in National Assembly, a number of boreholes and transformers have been allocated to his town.
Also the Regent of Awo Ekiti, Princess Oluwatoyin Adefunke Adesina thanked Bamidele for his largesse to the town through the special committee.
She mentioned a block of classrooms, transformers and some boreholes one of which was sited in the palace among several people-oriented projects initiated by Bamidele.
Earlier, the monarch of Iropora Ekiti had also appealed to Bamidele to open up his community to other larger towns in the state when elected.
The monarch listed the projects to include the 5 km Iropora/Eyio, Esure/Iropora roads and a request to site a tertiary.
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