From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Less than 24 hours after Hon Peter Akpatason reportedly received the endorsement of Okpameri stakeholders along with some APC leaders for a mandate renewal, after 12 years as a member representing Akoko-Edo constituency in the House of Representatives, his purported endorsement has run into stormy waters.
The stakeholders were alleged to have met and announced their support for the aspirant’s continuation in office for a record fourth term, based on some perceived impressive performance and their recognition of the benefits of the aspirant’s position as a ranking member of the federal parliament could attract to the constituency.
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But yesterday, the Chairman of the Okpameri Forum in Akoko-Edo, Chief Tosin Omolabi, in a statement, said there was never a meeting of such designation, stressing that “As stakeholders, we remain opposed to any tenure elongation, especially by an aspirant who has served a record three terms, as the representative for the constituency without anything to show.
‘The allegation that some faceless Okpameri stakeholders signed a document stating that, “…We are very proud of him and all of us are solidly behind him. We are here to let him know that we are not unaware of the destructive lies being peddled against his person by some self-seeking and self-centred individuals, who over the past years, were given opportunities but they messed it up”, is not only a lie but a fabrication to suit the whims of the author,’ the statement added.
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It explained that: ‘The APC as a democratic party has opened its doors to interested members to aspire to all elective offices including the House of Representatives. Several aspirants interested in this high office like Dr Adetutu Owolabi, an American trained nurse and a doctorate degree holder, who has been very active in building the lives of many in our communities and supporting the party and Mr Taiwo Akerele, a former Chief of Staff to the Edo State governor are in the same race.
‘Akoko-Edo land is yearning for development. 12-years is enough for any individual to impact in all ramifications. Akoko-Edo does not need a voice that was silent for 12-years to become ranking to change our story for the better. We are opposed to any aspirant buying supporters to rationalise a satanic tenure elongation. We are not interested just as we are fund-raising purchase nomination forms.
‘The real stakeholders of Okpameri extraction in APC, in conjunction with all other stakeholders from the other ethnic groups in Akoko-Edo, who believe in the development of Akoko-Edo, will never call on him to go for us one more time. We also want the APC in Edo and the country to know that as members in Akoko-Edo we are prepared for the party primaries where all our aspirants after purchasing their nomination forms will present themselves to canvass our support as delegates.’
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The statement warned: ‘We also like to add that we will not resist the urge to support any opposition candidate for the betterment of Akoko-Edo if the party imposes a greedy aspirant who has exhausted the people’s goodwill on Akoko-Edo.’