A founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former Deputy Publicity Secretary of the party, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has said that neither the PDP nor the All Progressives Congress, APC, will ‘sail’ through in 2019.
Gbenga, a successful businessman and chairman of Oil World Limited said that both political parties lacked the requisite structure and individuals that should lead the country out of its near-disaster stage.
Addressing some select journalists in Abuja, the former student unionist said, ‘’Never again, will Nigerians allow people to sneak into politics.’’
Speaking on the current leadership, he said, ‘’In 2015, there was no election. We had a referendum against Jonathan where people said any idiot was better than Jonathan. There was this general feeling in 2015 that Jonathan must go. There was this feeling that just anybody but Jonathan was good for the nation. That notion must change. Just like what we are facing at the moment, just anybody can be worse than Jonathan, because if I look at the data from the Federal Bureau of Statistics, when Jonathan was leaving, unemployment rate was 6.4, but now there is 600 percent increase in unemployment rate. We are almost in a disaster on the economy. This time around, it cannot just be anybody. We must interrogate to be sure who we want as the president,’’ he said.
Speaking on the chances of the PDP and the APC in the coming election, he said, ‘’ Both political parties are in disarray. Quote me anywhere, both parties will be defeated in 2019. In APC, we have fascists everywhere. Some of them are very small (diminutive) yet they are fascists. These people are more dangerous than Buhari. They have more media attention than even Mr president. These are people who have lost their credibility, old people who are no longer capable of being in leadership positions. So it must not just be ‘Buhari Must Go’ because anybody can as well be worse than Buhari.’’
Speaking further, he insisted that the leadership must be changed, and that those who must be handed over the leadership role must first look at the intangible things, stating that, ‘’it’s the intangibles that propel the tangibles.’’
Gbenga said, ‘’There are values that must guide our leaders. Our people are people of integrity. Mindless looting is not who we are. We are a decent people. Our leaders should be able to champion our positive values. There are leaders who talk down on the country, that Nigeria is corrupt, and they think they can increase their political value by debasing and demeaning the country and talking down on their people. That’s not the business of leadership. The business of leadership is to inspire change with the greatest value and the history of the people and propel them on the path of national reconstruction. Our people are people of values and that is the country that I grew up to know.
We must change the context within which politics is being played in the country so we can have a sane conversation on the way forward,’’ he said.