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MY Senatorial Aspirations In The Face Of New Realities: Bamidele Salam (Must Read)

For weeks and long days, I traversed the length and breadth of Osun West Senatorial District, consulting and speaking with stakeholders towards garnering their support for the actualization of my Senatorial ambition. Old and young; male and female; literates and illiterates ; politician and non-politician; I spoke with all that have one role or the other to play in the politics of Osun West.

 What I appealed to was the people's desire for quality representation that will attract development into the Senatorial District. Alas, I got support across party lines, in the civil society, among students and youths, in the public service and across a broad range of societal classes and sections. The love I received humbled me.

It was therefore a shock for many when the news filtered out that the very loved Bamidele Salam is no longer in the race for the Senatorial Re-run election scheduled to hold on July 8. Some were shocked, some disappointed, some sad and some speechless.

 Why will a candidate who had the goodwill of many people across all party lines suddenly withdraw from the race? Why will he break the hearts of his supporters so bad? It was a pain felt by many, having dedicated themselves to the course of propagating the ‘Send the Best, Get the Best’ message.

I am obligated to furnish the people, upon whom I had relied and will still rely on in future, with reasons for my unenvisaged withdrawal from the Senatorial race. Having supported my cause, you deserve to know why I made the decision.

According to Thomas Jefferson , “ In matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principles, stand like a rock ". My decision to run for the Senate was founded on a conviction that I possess both the capacity and effectual resolve to offer something fresh, something nobler and something more impactful and globally competitive in the business of law making in Nigeria.

That conviction still stands and will by God find fulfilment in due season.

The first hurdle I had to cross was that of raising funds for the actualization of this dream on the platform of the political party I have been a part of since 2005. Even though I have held public offices in different capacities by virtue of my membership of the PDP, I am not ashamed to say I do not have the kind of money being required as nominations fees at this point in time .

That again is one reason for deeper conversational engagement on the costs of our politics.

All I have spent so far in the course of my campaign activities in 10 Local Governments which make up this Senatorial District were from my personal savings and a single donation from a fellow worshipper in my local church. God bless her!

Secondly, in my political ascension, I got help to rise from a lot of political leaders who believed passionately in me and gave me the support I needed. These leaders included the late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke. He was a benefactor, and a worthy leader who gave me all the backing I required to grow.

As we mourned the sudden demise of this compassionate leader, I caught wind of the ambition of his younger brother who though belonged to a different political party remained a caring big brother to me. It was a dilemma.

How was I to run against the ambition of the blood brother of my benefactor? How was I to stand against the hopes of a dynasty that gave me all the support I required to come this far? But the dilemma was already in existence; how was I to withdraw having come this far? That was a vital consideration in the line of considerations on the next line of action to take.

The aspiration was to complete the remaining two year tenure of the senior Adeleke.

Upon deeper consultations again, some of the leaders in the PDP working round the clock to strengthen the party have successfully convinced the younger Adeleke to run on the platform of our party; a move I wholeheartedly welcome.

Eventually I had to take a rather bold, but considerate decision; and that was stepping down from the current race! My withdrawal has given me the opportunity to respect the mood of the Adeleke family and entire people of Ede-land.

 My withdrawal also gave me the opportunity to enhance the peace that the PDP so badly needs at this time. With many candidates in the race, the outcome of a free-for-all primary was certainly going to be less than desirable.

For the avoidance of all doubts and for the purpose of setting the records straight, I must say clearly and emphatically: I do not feel betrayed by anybody; I am not bitter for any reason and I remain committed to the welfare of the people of Osun West Senatorial District and members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, a platform on which I had been allowed to grow.

 I therefore remain committed to the course of development and purposeful representation and will continue engaging in activities that promote same.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a number of friends, most of them young professionals, students, artisans, civil society activists and unemployed who sacrificed their time, talents and treasure to support this vision. I appreciate your sacrifice and pray that the Lord raises helpers for you too in your time of need.

I assure all friends that I remain strong and focused on the larger picture of our political struggle.

I thank you all for your support in the past, as I keep relying on that support for the future.

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