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Edo Election: Olumide Akpata denies being Obaseki’s candidate




Olumide Akpata, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has publicly refuted rumors that his governorship aspirations are being bankrolled by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Speaking to journalists in Benin during the 2023 Press Week of the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), where he was a Special Guest, Akpata made clear his position on these allegations.

Akpata addressed the speculations head-on, describing them as baseless and unfounded. He expressed his intention to take legal action against two online blogs that had propagated these rumors, emphasizing his stance against fake news and the importance of addressing it promptly to prevent it from spreading.

Furthermore, he tackled the suggestion that Governor Obaseki would support him if his preferred candidate in the People Democratic Party (PDP) failed to secure the ticket. Akpata dismissed these claims as weak reasoning from disgruntled politicians within his party. He stressed that his relationship with Governor Obaseki is well-known and shouldn’t be misconstrued as a political alliance. Akpata highlighted the history of political independence within his family, referencing the divergent political paths of his father’s elder brother and cousin in the old Bendel State.

On the subject of being labeled a “money bag,” Akpata defended his financial contributions to politics. He pointed out the irony of such accusations, noting that those who criticize him for spending money have themselves been active in political spending. He views these allegations as attempts by his opponents to tarnish his reputation because they feel threatened by his entry into the political arena.

Akpata emphasized that he is not reliant on politics for his livelihood, highlighting his successful career in law. He described his political involvement as a commitment to the betterment of the state and Nigeria, not as a means for personal gain. He firmly stated that if he couldn’t succeed in politics on his own merits, he would rather not participate at all.

He concluded by acknowledging that politics is inherently expensive and that members of the Labour Party (LP), which is not as financially strong as other parties, need to pool resources to support their political activities. Akpata’s statements reflect a desire to clarify his political stance and intentions, distancing himself from rumors of financial dependence on established political figures.

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