2023: No Empty Promises, Olawepo-Hashim Says as He Declares for President

Picks APC form on Thursday

After a series of consultations with stakeholders across the country, renowned journalist and businessman, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, on Tuesday, declared his interest to contest the 2023 presidency under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, saying “this is not another empty promise of another politician, I’m who I am.”

According to him, despite the fact that the country is presently “gripped in the claws of insecurity, worsening energy crises due to absence of local refining of petroleum products and inadequate electricity generation, transmission and distribution, a new and better Nigeria is still possible.”

Olawepo-Hashim, who was a presidential candidate of the Trust Party in the 2019 elections, and Chief Executive Officer of Global Oil, was set to pick his nomination form on Thursday at the secretariat of the APC in Abuja.

He explained that the “current political trajectory of the country is dim and dark, as deep ethnic cleavages and bigotry have dominated the landscape accentuating the crises, undermining any initiative for a cohesive national redemption.”

The presidential optimist added that sadly, “the culprit for this immediate state of affairs are the dominant elite of Nigeria across party lines whose raison d’ etre has been self-interest and personal aggrandizement, especially in the past twenty-four years after the unfortunate decades of military rule.”

The aspirant maintained that although the initial patriotic national ethos of great leaders of the First Republic which made Nigeria one of the leading countries of Asia and Africa with a comparative gross domestic product with Malaysia and Thailand, had been effectively buried in the rubbles, “yet, there still exists an incredible reservoir of national energy capable of pulling the nation from the ruins and destruction, and for the construction of a new and better Nigeria.”

He said, “This abundant energy is able to bring light to overshadow the darkness that is enveloping our nation. There is a fire in the belly of an average patriotic Nigerian, which when lit, is able to consume any imaginable size of evil.

“I have stepped out to ignite that fire, in my decision to seek the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the 2023 elections.

“Mine is not an ambition but a historic burden. It is a burden imposed on me right from my late teens when as an undergraduate youth activist, my generation committed ourselves to the struggle for the social and economic development of Nigeria, as well as to the struggle for democratic rule.

“There is nothing Nigerians cannot achieve with the right environment and support. I am out to give the leadership to create that environment.”

Olawepo-Hashim also promised that his “plan to build a new Nigeria as encapsulated in a 50 – point agenda will be publicly presented soon by the Grace of God.”

“A modern Nigeria capable of securing itself from internal and external threats, providing jobs for her teeming youths currently unemployed through a sustainable economic development plan, and reducing the scourge of poverty and corruption is possible and realizable.”

He promised to bridge the existing divides in the nation, heal the wounds and bring Nigeria back together again.

“By reason of accident, my father came from northern Nigeria and my mother from the South. Half of my family are Christians while the other half are Muslims.

“I have lived and schooled in both North and South as well as in Europe and America. I know that all human beings are born equal and deserving of equal rights, opportunities, and justice.

“I will do justice to all without discrimination on account of ethnicity, religion, and gender. This is not another empty promise of another politician. It is who I am,” he said.

Since his activist days more than three decades ago, Olawepo-Hashim had done many things in business.

As one of the earlier political leaders after the military departed in 1999, he was Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party and Chairman of the party’s Group of 54 executive members which he formed.

He resigned from the PDP in 2006 after a lot of disagreements over matters of the party’s internal democracy.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos; and a Master’s degree in Global Affairs from the University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom where he was the best student in his cohort

Copyright PUNCH.


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