Presidential candidate of Peoples Trust (PT) in the 2019 general elections, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has said that rotation of the presidency in 2023 would be counter-productive to the polity.
According to the businessman, Nigeria needs a president that will unite the country, secure it and transform its economy from under-developed to a modern productive one.
He maintained that the envisaged president “should not be based on tribe, religion or region, but on ability to support the all-round social and economic development and provide sustainable employment for Nigeria’s massively unemployed hands.”
Olawepo-Hashim stressed that “Nigerians from every corner are always ready to vote for a good president when they see one”, recalling that without any zoning in 1993, the late Chief Moshood Abiola got votes from Kano against Alhaji Bashir Tofa, his main opponent, who hails from Kano.
He also recalled that in 1999, “despite the fact that President Olusegun Obasanjo’s home base, the Southwest, did not vote for him, he still became president, based on of votes from the six regions”. Olawepo-Hashim said: “The talk of zoning of the Presidency is, therefore, a false narrative, divisive and inimical to national development.”
According to him, the notion of “ it is our turn president” makes leaders to escape accountability because when he is questioned, the so-called ethnic base and constituents would gather to say ‘you cannot touch our man because it is our turn.”
Olawepo-Hashim warned: “This phenomenon is dangerous for national unity, cohesion and development. And more importantly, rotating the presidency is a pedestrian diversion from the current subject of devolution and decentralisation of power from the over centralised centre to the federating states in Nigeria.