Akpata Clarifies Controversy Over Benin Palace Remarks, Reaffirms Loyalty To Oba Of Benin


The Labour Party candidate for the 2024 Edo State gubernatorial elections, Olumide Akpata, has, in response to recent controversy surrounding remarks made during the Labour Party’s flag-off ceremony for the Edo State gubernatorial elections, issued a statement reaffirming his loyalty to the Oba of Benin.


Over the weekend, the Labour Party held its flag-off ceremony in Edo State, an event that Akpata described as “a resounding success.” The ceremony featured Akpata being warmly received by His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, alongside Labour Party leader Peter Obi and other dignitaries. During his address, Akpata referred to himself as a “son of the palace,” which the Oba corrected to “an indigenous illustrious son of the soil.”


In a press statement released on Monday, Akpata acknowledged the correction, stating, “I am not too proud or arrogant to acknowledge my mistakes or to accept guidance when offered, especially from the revered throne of the Oba of Benin.”


The controversy arose when certain individuals misinterpreted the interaction, prompting Akpata to issue a statement condemning any disrespect towards the Oba. He said, “I am compelled to issue this statement due to the utterly unacceptable reactions of some individuals who claim to be acting in my defence. I categorically condemn any conduct or language that could be deemed insulting or disrespectful towards the Oba of Benin, the embodiment of our rich cultural heritage. As I have repeatedly and emphatically stated, anyone who fights the Oba of Benin is also fighting me, and I will never be party to any scheme or ploy that brings disrepute to the sacred throne of the Benin Kingdom.”


Akpata further expressed his dismay at the misrepresentation of the exchange, urging for an end to such distortions. “It is imperative that this deliberate misrepresentation of the harmless and educational exchange between the Oba and myself ceases immediately,” he stated.


In his message to the people of Edo State, Akpata called for unity and respect for the traditional authority of the Benin Kingdom. “Let us unite in our reverence for the throne and work together to build a prosperous future for Edo State,” he urged.


As the Labour Party candidate for the Edo 2024 elections, Akpata reaffirmed his commitment to upholding the values and traditions of the Benin Kingdom, aligning his political aspirations with the preservation of cultural heritage as he said, “The Labour Party and I stand resolute in our determination to bring about positive change while preserving the rich cultural heritage that defines our great state.”


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