Former presidential candidate Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, has advised opinion-shapers not to permit religion to split the nation further.
He stated this in a statement from his media office in Abuja on Tuesday. His comment follows the continuous ripples in the choice of APC presidential running mate.
Olawepo-Hashim explained that the political aspiration of anybody is not worth the disruption of the unity and peace of Nigeria.
According to him, “while we all have the right to express ourselves, we should avoid incendiary comments that can further pose a huge challenge to our national integration objectives”.
“Let us quietly make our decisions and express such decisions with our votes”.
The former presidential candidate continued by saying that political parties should be ready to face the consequences at the polls if they are indifferent to our country’s problems and ignore some demographic groups.
“That is democracy there is no need for quarrel,” he said.
Olawepo-Hashim asserted that every party must work hard towards the general election to ensure that they are in good reckoning with the electorate at the polls. He added that “those who have bought delegates must know they will have an uphill task buying an estimated 40 million potential voters who may turn out at the next election.”
INEC has said as of 2019, there were 84 million registered voters, but as of Monday 27th June 2022, the ongoing registration figures were as follows: fresh Registrants: 10,487,972; Completed Registration: 8,631,696; Male: 4,292,690; Female: 4,339,006; PWDs: 67,171 and Youths: 6,081,456.
He added that “anyone who loves their party and loves Nigeria must ensure that their parties do the right things.
“Buying delegates at the party conventions is the cheapest thing to do. The general election is a different ball game. National Security is at stake. Not just anything will pass,” he said.
He also called on the President to live up to his promise that the next election would be free and fair, adding that “it is time for our elections to be the true measurement of the will of our people. That is the only way to make democracy deliver results!”
“All of us must come to terms with the fact that this is going to be an electronic transmission of results from the polling unit, and scope for manipulation is limited,” he noted.