By Derrick Osagie
In a climate saturated with political intrigue and power struggles, the People of Edo State are raising their voices and demanding answers from individuals like Olumide Akpata, who is perhaps aspiring to be governor.
This impassioned call for transparency and accountability comes in response to the apparent proliferation of money politics and the quest for power driven by extravagant wealth acquired from undisclosed sources. The People of Edo State are no longer contented with this status quo; they are yearning for leaders characterized by credibility, resourcefulness, and an unassailable reputation for honesty and integrity.
One of the primary concerns voiced is the source of wealth of certain individuals who from nowhere start parading as saviors and messiahs wanting the public to trust them. One such person is the lawyer Mr Olumide Akpata. Here is a man who does not live in the state and has no history of initiatives that have in any way made any significant impact on the state sudden aspiring to be governor. How can such a person pretend to be a leader and has never prioritized the welfare and well-being of their constituents?
It is no doubt a public knowledge that he sold his only bungalow, which appeared to be a residence he owned, a few years ago and currently does not possess a plot of land, let alone a building structure in Edo State. Instead, he prefers to stay in expensive hotels during his infrequent visits. This raises an important question: Is Olumide Akpata genuinely an Edo person, intimately connected to the needs and aspirations of the local populace?
The Edo people of today are wiser and are concerned about the ability of someone who relies on leased apartments for an extended period to relate to and understand their daily challenges. This disconnection is a significant impediment to effective leadership and service. Hence they are asking why Olumide Akpata is willing to spend enormous sums of money in pursuit of an elective office, which should fundamentally be a calling to serve the people.
And this raises another pertinent question: How does Olumide Akpata hope to recoup the substantial amount of money he is wasting ostensibly on this wild goose chase? It is a valid concern that such expenditures may lead to circumventing due process in governance and create an avenue for free access and looting of public resources.
Furthermore, there are questions about Olumide Akpata’s impact on the state’s residents. Despite the vast wealth he has ostensibly accumulated from known or claimed sources, there is a lack of evidence pointing to any tangible work in the Edo State interest. This calls into question his commitment to enhancing the lives of the people he aspires to lead.
In light of these questions and concerns, the people of Edo State are left wondering about Olumide Akpata’s true intentions in the state. Are his aspirations to become a leader driven by the desire to serve the people, or is he merely following the footsteps of self-centered people like him? This brings into reference his cousin, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is perceived to be his sponsor.
This same Mr. Obaseki campaigned and promised that he will support an Edo Central person for Governor. He is doing that subtly by parading the likes of Mr Asuen Ighodalo, who is like him and Akpata, birds of the same feather. The governor just sees the state as his pawn and certain he will not have his way in the PDP, he is sponsoring Akpata in Labor party. The alleged pledge of huge sum to Mr Abure the Labour party National Chairman for this doomed project comes into play. But Edo is wiser and will express their distrust of such crude political tactics that seem to be aimed at manipulating the electoral process.
That power belongs to the people is the truth and that they are not open to outside evil influences seeking to derail their affairs has become obvious since 2016 is also true. The call is for transparency, equity , justice and a sincere commitment to the welfare of the people.
Mr Olumide Akpata is urged to respond to these questions, if only to provide clarity and reassurance to the residents of Edo State. The message reflects the sentiment that the people of Edo State are eager to hold their leaders accountable and ensure that the interests of the state and its citizens take precedence.
Derrick Osagie writes in for Concerned LP Stakeholders