2023: OLAWEPO-HASHIM JOINS THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE, INSISTS
After series of consultation with stakeholders across the country, a frontline aspirant in the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has thrown his hat into the ring of the 2023 contest by officially declaring his intention to fly the flag of his party in next year’s presidential election.
Olawepo-Hashim who is set to pick his nomination form on Thursday at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, insisted that 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.”
The Former Presidential Candidate in 2019 election, 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.”
He added that sadly, “the culprit for this immediate state of affairs are the dominant elite of Nigeria across party lines whose raison d’ eter 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 our great First Republic leaders which made Nigeria one of the leading countries of Asia and Africa with comparative GDP with Malaysia and Thailand has been effectively buried in the rubbles, “yet, there still exist 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.”
According to him, “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 social and economic development of Nigeria, as well as to the struggle for democratic rule.”
He added that “there is nothing Nigerians cannot achieve with the right environment and support. I am out to give the Leadership to create that environment”, while promising 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.”
The Global Oil Executive also maintained that “a modern Nigeria capable of securing itself from internal and external threats, provide jobs for her teeming youths currently unemployed through a sustainable economic development plan, and reduce 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 our nation 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 has done many things in business unlike his peers who stay in the traditional comfort zones of running NGOs, media organisations and working in the universities.
As one of the earlier political leaders after the military departed in 1999, he was Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Ruling party and Chairman of the party’s Group of 54 NEC members which he formed.
He resigned from the PDP in 2006 after a lot of disagreements over matters of party’s internal democracy.
He holds Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos; and a Master’s degree in Global Affairs from University of Buckingham in United Kingdom where he was best student in his cohort.
Olawepo-Hashim in his 50s, is strong on Economic issues, National Security and National integration which he has spoken widely on in the past four years.
He has core competences theoretically and practically apart from doing business across many international jurisdictions. He did core courses in International Finance, International Economics and Global Security.