Oil magnate and chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Gbenga Olawepo- Hashim on Sunday congratulated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the Supreme Court verdict which validated his victory in the February 25 presidential election.
He however called on Tinubu to face the job of “rescuing Nigerians from the daily grim realities they face, with more seriousness” because he has more work to do.
Olawepo-Hashim, who was the presidential candidate of the Trust Party (TP) in the 2019 election, also counselled that “the opposition party which divided its rank into three and half during the build up to the 2023 election, has a job to do if it must be relevant to Nigeria’s immediate political future.”
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi had asked the Apex Court to dismiss and set aside the September 6 Judgment of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), which affirmed the victory of Tinubu.
But the seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro on Thursday, held that the appeal lacked merit and “is hereby dismissed.”
But Olawepo-Hashim in a statement said Tinubu should hit the ground running.
He said, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the one with the democratic mandate, has more work to do with the economy hit by its worse inflation in over twenty years, and the nation’s currency devalued at 80% in four months of his administration at the unofficial market.
“Hitting the ground running now would not be enough as he now needs to fly when needed. The legal challenges to the outcome of the 2023 presidential election have come and gone rounding up with the verdict of the Supreme Court on sundry appeals on October 26 2023. I want to congratulate President Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) for a hard won victory.”
“The dogged but civil challenges mounted by the duo (Atiku and Obi) after the election are important contributions to our democracy and would enrich our Jurisprudence. Both the winner and those whose petitions did not succeed at the courts must now commit themselves as leaders to the important tasks of uniting the country, securing the nation and rescuing the economy, and improving the welfare of her people.
“Before and after election, we had counselled severally that the post-Buhari administration must be a Government of National Unity akin to the post civil war cabinet of General Gowon, owing to the severe fracture of the polity and the horrendous damage to the economy.
“Some people in their opinion after the election had dismissed the suggestion, arguing instead that what is needed is a government of “national competence”. The country is now impatiently waiting to see the “competence” as the people’s welfare take the turn for the worse.”
He emphasized that at this critical juncture in the nation’s history, “important national responsibilities cannot be a gift for yes boys and girls at moments of severe national crises such as we are currently in.”
“Nigeria demands more seriousness from all political leaders as the grim realities that Nigerians confront daily is not the occasion for pettiness and shodiness”, Olawepo-Hashim stated.