Former presidential candidate of People’s Trust, in the 2019 presidential election, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has pitched his tent with the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a move to rejuvenate his long-term struggle for the improvement of the lots of the people, Olawepo-Hashim announced his defection to the APC in a personally signed statement released in Abuja, yesterday.
The oil mogul explained that he opted for the APC to actualise his vision for Nigerians because the party is not just populated by people with whom they founded the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but also because the party is a reasonable pathway for the preservation of the unity and progress of the nation.
He stressed that he is now also convinced about the passion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade, even though critics have questioned the effectiveness of his anti-corruption crusade.
Ironically, “the other party does not even care a whim about curbing corruption”, and regrettably, “its members celebrate their newly adopted legacy of graft and display of criminal opulence. The other party is a far cry from the community of honourable men and women that it was in 1998 when we lunched it,” Olawepo-Hashim said.
Olawepo-Hashim revealed that he has formally registered in Usuma Ward as it is procedurally required, and “this was after series of consultations with his longtime friends and associates of over 23 years, including Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak of Kwara State.”
He has also received support and encouragement from Minister of Special Duties and former Benue State governor, Senator George Akume, former Governor of Benue state and current minister of Special duties, who is also one of the APC leaders in the North central zone and a major political ally since their days as founding members of then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999.
He recalled how he “was then privileged to serve as the first elected Deputy National Publicity secretary as well as chairman of the important Group of 54 National Executive Committee (NEC) members that included a majority of the party’s elected Governors in 1999”, and “By the Grace of God today I will be attending the stakeholders meeting of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the All Progressive Congress(APC), in what is my first public event as a member of the party”
The politician added that it was clear after the 2019 elections that going forward we have to make a choice between one of the two major political parties in Nigeria, for a more meaningful struggle for a better Nigeria. Pursuant to that, “in the past 6 months I have twice met the Chairman of the APC National care taker committee, His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni, and several times with my brother and friend Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN).
This is in addition to meetings with Minister of the FCT, Mallam Mustapha Bello, who is the leader of the APC in the FCT, and also a member of the Federal Cabinet. “I have also consulted with party elders, leaders and members too numerous to mention, and especially the FCT party chairman, who worked very hard to convince me to join the APC.”
Regardless, “in deciding for the APC, I have no illusion that I have come to a perfect party or that the struggle to birth a new Nigeria on this my chosen new platform will be easy. I will continue to rely on your prayers and support, the strength of the Lord and his guidance and protection as I embark on this journey.”