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2023: Olawepo-Hashim Joins The Presidential Race, Insists A New And Better Nigeria Is Possible


Olawepo-Hashim

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 over shadow 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 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.

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“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.

Below is the full text of the Declaration Speech:

A NEW AND BETTER NIGERIA IS POSSIBLE: LET US MARCH TOGETHER INTO A SECURE AND PROSPEROUS FUTURE

A Declaration Speech by Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, Presidential Aspirant of the All Progressive Congress, APC, on Tuesday, May 03, 2022, in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria

Our great country Nigeria is 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. Prices of goods and services are all- time high eroding real wages and household incomes.

Poverty is ravaging the land, joblessness amongst the youth is over fifty-four percent leading to unprecedented social crises. Corruption is widespread and almost all known African and universal human values are fast becoming extinct.

Heath, education and even sports have taken the plunge leading to more avoidable deaths. Maternal mortality per life birth is the 4th highest in Africa (917 per 100,000 life birth.) Our Infant mortality is one of the highest in the world, while average life expectancy in the country is worse than in some poor African States. Life expectancy in Nigeria is 55 years, 63 years in Niger, 64 years in Liberia, and in Sudan 65 years.

The 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 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 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.

This abundant energy is able to bring light to over shadow 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.

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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.

My colleagues and I staked our lives and freedom as some of us who escaped death suffered incarceration under unimaginable circumstances.

Now in my fifties, that fire is not extinguished. I carry an historic burden to lead the process that will make a democratic Nigeria deliver the promise of a greater Nigeria that will provide for all her citizens and those who reside in it without discrimination.

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.

A burden to build a New Nigeria that will be a land of equal opportunity and justice.

The summary of that plan is encapsulated in our 50 – point agenda to be publicly presented soon by the Grace of God.

In the past three decades I have built businesses from the scratch in energy and infrastructure development in Nigeria and other continents of the world.

I acquired formal and informal training that provides me with the knowledge and expertise to solve Nigeria’s political, economic and security challenges.

By the Grace of God I have the energy, passion and vision to drive this transformation that our great nation desperately needs. I know how to build even from the scratch!

I will 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 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.

I have gone round Nigeria many times, first as a National student and youth leader in my late teens about three -and – half decades ago, as a human rights crusader in the 1990’s , officer of a national party in 1996 , as well as a prominent national officer of a ruling party in 1999. In 2019 I was Presidential candidate who travelled round the country. I understand our diverse culture, pluralism and what is of critical importance to our people. I am not just a complete Nigerian, I am a “Nigerianist”.

I have a settled conviction in my spirit that God has preserved me for such a time as this to be able to bring this divided country together again.

Ours is not a partisan agenda, (as no party in Nigeria today can claim innocence for responsibility for the myriad of crises bedeviling the country), but a national redemption effort that seeks to mobilize the creative energy, the can – do – it energy and never say die spirit of Nigerians across party lines and non-party lines at home and in the diaspora.

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This is the urgent task of saving our great nation and making it the sun in the centre of the globe that God has destined it to be.

Every day, Nigerians are energetic and creative in their day- to – day struggle to make a living and create a better life despite scant support from the financial system and parlous infrastructure.

It is for the indomitable Nigerian spirit that we have the biggest economy in Africa that we must seek to grow ten times over in the next ten years to pull our people completely out of poverty, illiteracy, insecurity and disease.

We are a hardworking people. That was the foundation our founding fathers laid some few decades back when the tallest buildings in Africa were in Nigeria.

We started television broadcasting as the first in Africa and for many years up till the 1980’s, our educational system and heath institutions ranked amongst the best in the world as we produced vaccines not just for ourselves at the Yaba Centre. There, we produced for the whole of West Africa and provided personnel for the World Health Organisation.

Our military and security forces in those days not only maintained order at home but provided help to troubled African States such as Congo, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra-Leone etc. They also participated meritoriously world-wide in peace keeping operations.

Today, despite our challenges at home, Nigeria’s exports to the world: professionals, innovators educationists, bureaucrats and entrepreneurs in the diaspora are accomplishing extraordinary feats.

Chinedu Echeruo, founder of Hopstop.com purchased by apple for one billion dollars is a rising star in the tech world alongside many notable startups netting millions of dollars in investment in the digital economy at home.

Nigeria is set to play a leading role in the cyber market due to the creativity and energy of her citizens. People of Nigerian descent are breaking grounds in the sciences.

Dr Victor Olalusi scored 5.0 GPA in the Russian National Medical University. He is the first to do so in the world. The Nigerian diaspora contributes a lot to the Nigerian economy as remittances from abroad. In 2020, the remittance grossed17 billion US dollars almost inching towards the 20.4 billion USD revenue from oil.

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

Since I am not seeking to contest as an independent candidate, I will be doing so on the platform of the APC, a great party of Nigerians who believe in the indivisibility and Unity of our great country

One of the reason why our party the APC got tremendous acceptance amongst a vast majority of Nigerians is the expectation that we shall combat corruption, We cannot surrender now I am the one not beholden to the forces of graft that will finish that task.

I ask all Nigerians regardless of party, religion and ethnicity at home and in the diaspora, to step out with me to give support and enlist in our national salvation army: the Movement for a New Nigeria which our campaign is.

A new and better Nigeria is possible!

God bless you,

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim


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