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Friday, June 21, 2024

Former NBA president wins LP Gov primary for Edo

A former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has been declared winner of the Labour Party (LP) ticket for the September 2024 governorship election in Edo State.

Akpata scored 316 votes to win other contenders during the exercise supervised and coordinated by the Abia State deputy governor, Ikechukwu Emeta.

The deputy governor declared Akpata as the winner of the election held in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Friday.

Emeta, who is also the chief returning officer for the election, stressed that the former NBA president met the requirement to be declared winner of the exercise in the state.

He said: “I hereby declare as follows: Olumide Akpata, having scored the highest number of votes and certified the provisions of the constitution of the party, is hereby declared the winner and the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party for the Edo State governorship election 2024,”

Accepting outcome of the exercise, Akpata paid tribute to a former governor of Ondo State and NBA president, Rotimi Akeredolu, who was buried on the same day.

He also thanked his supporters and members of the party for their backing, promising to work for the good of the state if he wins the governorship election.

His victory comes months after he declared interest in the Edo State governorship race under the Labour Party.

In October, he had visited the Edo LP secretariat in Benin City to formally declare his interest in the race, pinning the decision on his love for the people.

“My interest is for the people of Edo State. And what I find out about politics and governance in Nigeria today is that the people have been taken out of the equation. Nobody cares about the people,” Akpata told the mammoth crowd that welcomed him.

“So, when I look around, the only party I find to be people-oriented and interested in lots of our people is the Labour Party. So I have come here to express my interest and to carry the people along.”

In August, the corporate lawyer, 51, resigned from the law firm Templars where he served as a senior partner.

“The Partners and management of TEMPLARS wish to announce that a Senior Partner at the Firm and the immediate past President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Olumide Akpata, has formally informed the Firm of his decision to participate in active politics,” the firm said in a statement.

“On account of this, and in line with the Firm’s governance protocols, Olumide Akpata and the Partners of the Firm have agreed that he disengages from the Firm with effect from 31st August 2023. This will enable him to fully focus on his project of contributing towards nation building.”

That same month, Akpata joined the LP, saying he wanted to play a more active part in the country’s political process.

“This was a major step for me and not one that I took lightly…but I simply got tired of complaining about Nigeria every day and bemoaning her fate and I decided to take the plunge and try to be part of the solution rather than agonising continually over the problem,” he said.

“This, for me, is the start of a very important journey and it is my prayer that I arrive safely at my destination.”

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