Labour Party Chieftain and a governorship aspirant in Edo State, Olumide Akpata, has denied involvement and those of his supporters in last Sunday’s protest where the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure was attacked by aggrieved members.
Akpata urged the leadership and members of his party to count him and his supporters out of the protest which took place at the party’s secretariat in Benin City.
DAILY POST gathered that hundreds of party members, mostly youths, last Sunday, protested against Julius Abure, the national chairman of the party over his alleged support for some aspirants ahead of the party governorship primary.
It was learnt that the protesters who besieged the party secretariat accused him of compromising his position and did not allow preside over the primary.
However, it took the intervention of security operatives to prevent the irate youths from gaining access to the secretariat building.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Benin City, Akpata noted that he was not known for violence, nor does he have any history of sponsoring violence.
The immediate past President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, claimed that linking him to the protest was aimed at tarnishing his image, and integrity and a calculated attempt to ruin his political popularity.
He alleged that the allegations and rumours were emanating from within the Labour Party, among those who are opposed to his emergence as the Labour Party’s gubernatorial flagbearer in the upcoming February 22, 2024, primary elections.
“It has come to my attention that there was a protest on Sunday, 4th February 2024, at the Labour Party State Secretariat in Benin City, Edo State, which allegedly turned violent.
“I want to clearly and unequivocally state that I have absolutely no knowledge of this protest, nor have I sanctioned or approved it in any way.
“The baseless rumours and insinuations that have been mischievously circulated that these protesters are carrying out my bidding are totally false, unfounded, and quite frankly ridiculous.
“I want to categorically state that I, my campaign organisation, supporters, and well-wishers do not engage in, encourage, or sanction any kind of violence or unwholesome conduct,” he said.
Akpaka, who added that he was last year allegedly linked to the violent attack on the former, National Youth Leader of the party in Benin city, oCity pined that the puerile allegations are the products of malicious minds.
He noted that the perpetrators are aimed at unfairly and irreparably tarnishing his hard-earned reputation, image, and rising popularity as a foremost gubernatorial aspirant of choice within the Labour Party in Edo.
While urging those allegedly behind the allegations against him to desist from the act, he threatened to use the instruments of law to protect himself against such falsehood