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Edo Decides: Who is ‘Osiagbovo Akpata’? By Victor Ehinoma

TYPICALLY, election season comes with a whole lot of drama, lies, deceit and shenanigans from politicians all in search of votes and that is totally understandable when you consider how powerful one can become when you hold an executive position like the office of a Governor.

Politicians are definitely of different sorts but when you consider the professional background and career trajectory of certain persons, you would expect them to be above board and not resort to petty theatrics to sway voters. Certainly, a renowned lawyer and former NBA President falls into the category of persons from whom you would ordinarily expect much higher standards from.

It is thus shocking that the Labour Party Candidate, Olumide Akpata will descend into the petty fraud of genetically modifying his identity just to curry votes especially from the Benin of Edo South Senatorial District.


Ordinarily, Olumide Akpata is a household name and a brand in his own right. He has always been known and addressed as Olumide Anthony Akpata.

When he ran for the Presidency of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), he was Olumide Anthony Akpata. His name has never been an issue for controversy of any sort. Even on his INEC nomination documents, his name is clearly seen to be “Olumide Anthony Akpata”.

On the cusp of the forthcoming Edo Governorship Elections, he has suddenly genetically modified his name to “Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata” on Billboards and Posters across the State. Who is fooling who?

Meanwhile the name “Osaigbovo” is conspicuously missing on his credentials and forms before INEC.

Who then is OSAIGBOVO? Why lie to the public?

Ordinarily, it is immaterial what names an individual chooses to bear but it smacks of dishonesty and a fraudulent disposition to embark on a last minute name rebranding campaign to stir up ethnic affiliations because of an election. It is also telling of his lack of integrity and character for public office.

Even the process that led to Akpata’s emergence as candidate of the Labour Party has been described by his own Party members as fraudulent, having been alleged to have procured the LP ticket with dollars.

All of this is part of a desperate effort to succeed his Cousin, Gov. Godwin Obaseki as Governor.

Integrity is a key quality or character of an aspiring Leader. Resorting to such mundane tactics and subterfuge to mislead the public and pander to primordial ethnic sentiments for votes is definitely not the way to go.

Perhaps again, the theatrics are an indication that he does not understand the political terrain he is operating in.

Edo people are thoroughly detribalised and will not be swayed by such petty shenanigans.
He should rather focus on the substance of what he has to offer to the good people of Edo State than resort to this mundane politics.

Dr. Victor Ehinoma
Pubic Affairs Analyst
Benin City

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