Politics

Edo2024: I’m Not Obaseki’s Candidate

Olumide Akpata, the former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has refuted reports that Governor Godwin Obaseki is funding his bid for governor.

Additionally, he denied any reality to the rumor that Obaseki would support him in the event that his favored People Democratic Party candidate lost the race for the ticket.

Akpata said that others who claimed he was trying to pay cash for the LP ticket were acting immaturely.

He addressed reporters in Benin on Saturday when he attended the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ (2023) Press Week award ceremony as a Special Guest (NUJ).

He said, “That I am sponsored by Godwin Obaseki is an unfounded and baseless rumour. It was bandied around by two irresponsible online blogs that I shall be going after with all the venom that I can muster because my approach to fake news is that you nip it in the bud and you deal with it before it festers.

“It has also been bandied around by some disgruntled politicians including my party and I said to them that it is a very weak argument or reasoning.

“My relationship with the governor has never been hidden so it is only politicians who don’t know how to agree to disagree that quickly conclude that when two contenders sit together, they must belong to the same camp.

“In the old Bendel State, my father’s elder brother Sen Olu Akpata was in the UPN in 1979, and his cousin Tayo Akpata was the chairman of NPN in the same state. They had lunch and dinner together.

“The family I belong to are honourable people. Those who know the Akpata family in Benin know that we are honourable people. If I cannot go into politics on my own, and get the prize that I am looking for I will stay at home.

“I am a successful lawyer. Politics is not my job. It is out of interest that we have come to the rescue of this state and Nigeria. I cannot be the hireling of anybody,” he added.

On the issue of being a money bag, Akpata said, “As the Americans would say, I put my money where my mouth is and you know, these people who say I am a money bag, have been spending before I came into the scene. So I just wonder what the issue really is. You know when people get uncomfortable with a competition that they cannot match up to, they must look for something to say.

“They are only giving a dog a bad name to hang it. The LP is not as financially buoyant as the other parties. So all of us who are true party members must come together and help our party. I shrug off the claim that I am a money bag. However, Politics is expensive all over the world,” he added.