Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Presidential Candidate of People’s Trust (PT), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim saturday called on other presidential candidates to concede defeat and congratulate whoever emerges the winner of the presidential election.
Olawepo-Hashim spoke to THISDAY shortly after voting in his polling unit at Lagos Road Junction, Usuma Ward, Bwari Area council Abuja, saying whatever the outcome of this process, the losers should congratulate the winner and the winner should be very responsible.
Olawepo-Hashim noted that Nigeria needs to move away from election siege that it has gotten itself into which according to him has some implications for the sake of the economy, peace, unity and stability.
Hashim said, “I want to see some matured statements from political leaders. The politics of the country seems seriously broken, we have to put that back together because basically in this election we are supposed to be a vehicle to improve governance not to lower the quality of governance. Otherwise it would have lost its meaning.”
He spoke on the issues encountered at some polling units, noting that he believed the country should have had a cooling off period after the first postponement.
He said there “are issues about the general climate of electioneering in the country, the behaviour of political leaders which have impacted the way the institutions that are managing the elections are operating. And then the general political environment which I believe would have been better if we had a cooling off period after the first postponement.
“The tension was high, there were various issues about foreign interferences backing one candidate against the other candidate. There were other salient issues. I believe the major parties did a lot of vote buying in this exercise, which were done through state resources.
“With the evidence before your eyes, I believe that for election to have meaning, it must be a process of peaceful transfer of power, whose outcome is largely susceptible to the participants, once you don’t have a great deal of that, there’s a basis to question the legitimacy of such a process which is not beneficial to peace and stability of any country.”
On some security officers being partisan, Hashim noted that security people “have done their job professionally. The political leaders should accept the responsibility of their failures and of their lack of maturity and they are the ones putting all these various institutions under pressure who otherwise would have been professionals.”
He blamed the desperation on the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), adding that from their accusatory statements they almost brought the country on its knees.
“When you say you lead a country, there are certain things you must not do. Having said that, they were both prepared, whatever is the outcome of this process, the losers should congratulate the winner.”