JUST IN: Trouble In LP As Gov Contender In Edo, Akpata Moves Against Party

February 20, 2024
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Olumide Akpata, an aspirant for the Edo governorship election under the Labour Party (LP), has raised concerns about the party’s readiness for its primary election.

In a letter dated February 18 addressed to Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akpata alleged that the LP leadership is planning to “handpick a candidate” for the election rather than conduct a transparent primary.

Akpata highlighted the lack of transparency and preparedness surrounding the LP’s planned primaries, emphasizing the Electoral Act’s mandate for political parties to “conduct transparent primaries” and INEC’s role in stipulating timelines for these processes.

He expressed dismay over the mass withdrawal of aspirants due to concerns about the undemocratic nature of the process, with many citing the absence of transparency as their reason for withdrawing.

Akpata stated, “While some have diplomatically cited ‘personal reasons’ for withdrawing, others have been more forthcoming in directly alleging that the Party leadership plans to handpick a preferred aspirant regardless of the outcome of any primaries held.”

He lamented his unsuccessful attempts to seek transparency and accountability from the party leadership, noting their dismissive response to his inquiries.

Akpata urged INEC to intervene to uphold due process and internal party democracy, warning of potential pre-election disputes if transparency is not ensured.

He concluded by urging INEC to heed warning signs and ensure the right processes are followed to avoid “unnecessary disputes” that could burden the commission’s resources.

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