Presidential candidate in 2019 and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has cautioned against the escalating tussle over which geo-political region should produce the president in 2023, saying political parties lack the power to zone elective offices.
Olawepo-Hashim, who warned that the bickering among regions for the ticket has become corrosive and divisive to an already fractured polity.
Noting that every Nigerian has a right to freedom of expression, he however stressed the need for utmost care to ensure that the delicate situation of the country is not complicated by the pitching of one section against another.
He said the constitution guarantees every Nigerian who meets the required criteria, the right to stand for any elective office regardless of ethnic descent or religious persuasion.
“Any politician that wants to contest to be President from wherever can jolly well jump into the ring, there is no need to continuously blackmail the country by hiding under ethnic nationality groups. While political parties can zone party offices they have no power to zone elective offices. There is no need to split hot air over this any further,” he said.
He also maintained that whatever hue and cry that were raised in the past about a section of the country been excluded from being President has been settled by our experience since 1999 return to democracy, adding that “of the 22 years since 1999, the nation has seen 14 years of President from Southern Origin -Obasanjo’s 8 years and Jonathan’s 6 years.
“When Buhari by the Grace of God ends his tenure in 2023, we would have seen Presidents of Northern origin for 10 years. This should be enough to lay to rest the divisive arguments about power rotation.“
Olawepo-Hashim admonished that “while we recognise the freedom of expression of every Nigerian, utmost care is needed now more than ever before not to complicate the delicate situation of the country by pitching one section of the country against another. This will be pouring gasoline into a raging inferno.”