Don’t ‘Dollarise’ APC Convention Like PDP Did, Olawepo-Hashim Warns, Says Nigerian Presidency Not For Sale

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has warned that the party has a responsibility and should not allow its presidential primary and convention to become “another dollar rain and a trading platform for the highest bidder.”
 
In a statement issued through his Director of Media and Communication, Segun Abifarin, on Tuesday, Olawepo-Hashim said “that our country is neither a commodity to be traded nor a property to be auctioned and sold to the highest bidder”.


He added that Nigerian Presidency has never been for sale and therefore, shouldn’t be for sale now.

“The PDP has demonstrated that it has learnt nothing, but as a party, the APC cannot follow her inglorious example. The next President of Nigeria must not be a Mafioso leader. Our President must not be a gangster!
 
“As a party in Government, the APC has a sacred and patriotic duty to guide a disciplined transfer of power not one left in the hands of the god of mammon,” he said.
Olawepo-Hashim argued that much is at stake in terms of leadership direction.
 
“National interest is what should guide the choice of the APC and some of the urgent national imperative should include shortlisting a candidate that will heal the wounds of division in the country and find also a Vice President that will compliment him/her in this national objective.
 
“In 1979, President Shehu Shagari was initially a senatorial aspirant who was drafted into the Presidential race and went ahead to win. On the political turf then there were many money bags who were nicely told to back off because Nigeria’s Presidency is not for sale.”
 
He cited the reasons why Peter Obi quit the PDP before its primary election and convention.
 
Olawepo-Hashim, therefore, enjoined the party’s screening committee to “be serious about the exercise adding that EFCC must be ready to follow the large movement of illicit cash for politics and seize where necessary, laundered funds in circulation and prosecute offenders.”
 
He also re-emphasised the fact that “the question of nomination of flag bearers is an exclusive matter for parties and party priorities and national interest are the highest imperative and nothing else.”
 
According to him, political parties are constitutionally recognised institutions and the only area in their affairs where INEC is permitted to interfere in their affairs is seeking to collect their audited accounts through her Auditors and the body is expected to forward the same to the National Assembly.
 
“Even the national assembly and the courts have limited scope for interventions in party affairs under section 222. The Constitution restricts this purely to when there are criminal infractions. This is provided for in Section 223.
 
“That the PDP made a mess of itself by rushing into its primaries does not mean that the APC and other political parties must do so.”

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Saharareporters, New York

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