I’m not Obaseki’s preferred candidate — Akpata

Olumide Akpata
Olumide Akpata

Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata has debunked claims that he is the preferred candidate of Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki to be governor next year.

Mr Akpata is running for governor of Edo State on the platform of Labour Party.

The lawyer also said the claims that Obaseki would back him if his preferred candidate in the People Democratic Party failed to win the ticket were untrue.

“That I am sponsored by Godwin Obaseki is an unfounded and baseless rumour,” Akpata told journalists on Saturday as a special guest at the award day of the 2023 Press Week of the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

“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.”

Akpata also debunked claims that he was a moneybag.