Olumide Akpata, immediate past president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and aspirant for the 2024 governorship election in Edo State on Labour Party platform, at the weekend said he was a cancer survivor.
The legal luminary, who made the revelation in his remarks during the celebration of his 51st birthday in Benin City, also added that he have had multiple surgeries.
He also said that he was diagnosed with stage three cancer over 10 years ago.
The legal expert cum politician who did not disclose the type of cancer diagnosed added that he had in the past five years been cancer-free.
He noted that the gathering was not only to mark his birthday but also to thank God for his life over the years.
“You may have noticed me dancing around the hall. I am dancing with thanksgiving because I turn 51 years old today. As I shared with my state chairman of Labour Party couple of days ago, it is a miracle that I am still standing. And at every point I must give thanks to God.
“I am cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with stage three cancer over 10 years ago, but as you can see now I have been cancer-free for at least five years by the grace of God. I had multiple surgeries,” he said.
Akpata, who delved into his early life, noted that he lost his mother at the age of 19 when writing his final examinations as a law student at the University of Benin.
He explained that his mother died before the age of 49, noting that if not God’s blessings and mercies upon his life, his stories would have been different.
According to him, “I was in my final year in the University of Benin when I lost my mother at the UBTH. My mother didn’t make it to 49 years. Anything could have happened. My journey could have been different.
“The lost of a mother at that critical stage in one’s life can just turn things around but God was there and he has been there in all these 31 years till date. She died when I was writing my final examinations.
“I become a lawyer, I started my legal career, I set up a law firm in conjunction with my elder brother and ultimately I became the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). So, you understand why I am excited, why I am happy, why I am grateful to God and that is why I have gathered friends and family members here to celebrate with me,” he said.
The lawyer, who paid tributes to Akpata and extended family, members of the legal profession, friends and the state leadership of the Labour Party, assured that he was in politics to change the narratives of governance in the state.
The birthday ceremony was graced by top Edo State government functionaries which include Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of Edo State; Osarodion Ogie, Secretary to the Edo State Government and Osaigbovo Iyoha, Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor.
Also present were Oluwole Osazee Uzzi, commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Edo State; Chris Nehikhare, commissioner for Information and Orientation; Yinka Omorogbe, former Edo State commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General and Wole Iyamu, former, Edo State commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General.
Ken Mozia (SAN), Yusuf Al-Samad Kadiri (SAN), Nosa Edo-Osagie, chairman, Benin branch of NBA; State executive of Labour Party, family members, friends, politicians were also present.