Olumide Akpata: How my letter to INEC helped make Edo LP guber primary credible

Olumide Akpata, Labour Party gubernatorial candidate in Edo, says his letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was instrumental to the conduct of a credible governorship primary by the party. 

Akpata had on February 18 written to INEC, alleging that there was a plot by the leadership of the party to handpick a candidate for the election.

Speaking with Channels TV on Friday after winning the primary, Akpata said the process was better because of his letter.

“I think I should be thanked for writing that letter to INEC because you know what you find in situations like this, there’s this conspiracy of silence and nobody wants to bell the cat,” he said. 


“What I found in the party at that point in time was that it did not appear that we were doing all that we needed to do to conduct the exercise. At that time we were getting ready for the ward congresses which were to be held in 192 wards across the state.

“And I just saw what was a disturbing lack of preparedness and I wrote to INEC, the regulator… because I thought that was the best thing to do to put those who were superintending the process on their toes because what was clear to me was that everybody would have been a loser, at least I would have been a loser if I did not cry out. 

“And it yielded results and very quickly the party released all the addresses of the 192 wards, the secretariats where the ward congresses were to be held, very quickly the party called all of us aspirants to a meeting to brief us on what was to transpire at the ward congresses. All of these had not been done before I wrote my letter. 


“So I think my letter helped to facilitate the process, helped to ensure that we had a very managed and organised process out of which I have now emerged the winner of the process.”


Akpata said if elected Edo governor, he would prioritise the people because they have been “serially disappointed” by the other actors in the political space.

He said the Labour Party is the vehicle that has the potential to rescue Nigeria, adding that people are relying on the party to make things better.


“[It’s a] heavy weight on my shoulders, Labour Party is that vehicle that I think has the potential to rescue Nigeria, it’s a people-centric party hence our logo which has the family unit – papa, mama, pikin – and the expectations are high on the part of the people as they’ve been serially disappointed by the other actors in the political space,” he said.

“And so they’re looking up to the Labour Party, they’re looking up to those of us who are in the party to come to their rescue to provide much needed succor, because I think we’re at the brink of the precipice and it will take a new party, a new perspective to pull us back and course correct as it were because things are not looking great at the moment.

“Government is not rocket science, it’s management, it’s administration, it’s prioritising the people. We must put the people at the centre of our policies, budgeting and prioritising. 

“So I think I would be focusing on the people and what is important to the largest number of the people of Edo state. So agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure, those are the things I would look at and you might say that these are things that everybody else talks about but I think most people seem to talk the talk, I want to walk the talk.”


The Edo governorship election is scheduled to take place on September 21, 2024.

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