In the run-up to the gubernatorial election in Edo State, Olumide Akpata, a prominent aspirant under the Labour Party (LP), has declared his commitment to remain within the party even if he faces an unfavorable outcome in the primary election.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics program, Akpata emphasised his belief in the party’s values, asserting that he joined because of a genuine alignment with its principles.
Despite facing stiff competition from over 28 aspirants seeking the party’s ticket, the former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) expressed fearlessness, stating that he was undeterred by the crowded field.
Responding to questions about his confidence in the party’s candidate selection process, Akpata acknowledged concerns based on observations in previous state primaries such as Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi.
He urged party officials to address glitches in the process to prevent a recurrence of past challenges.
Akpata stated, “There are definitely glitches and I hope that those who superintended over the affairs will go back to the drawing board and ensure that we don’t have a repeat of what we had in those states.
While noting that these developments called for concern, he said if he was “played out” during the primaries, “I am a democrat and a good sportsman. If I lose, I will go home.”
“Political harlotry is not one of my strong points. I came to this party because I believe in what the party stands for. If some of the operators of the party are behaving in an underhanded manner, that does not mean the party has changed.
“What you do is to ensure that you enthrone leadership that works in tandem with the objectives of the party. The solution is not to jump ship. You are not going to hear of me jumping ship to another party,” he added.
Regarding the endorsement from LP’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, Akpata revealed that he had not secured Obi’s support for his gubernatorial ambition.
“Put yourself in the shoes of Mr Peter Obi, 28 aspirants on the field, do you really think he will endorse one above others?
“Mr Peter Obi is a friend of mine, he knows about my ambition, we have talked about it but I expect no less from him. He’s a democrat, he’s fair, he’s just, he’s equitable. So, what he would do is wait for the process to play out,” he stressed.