Eya Afugo

The presidential candidate of the People’s Trust (PT) party in the 2019 elections, Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Olawepo-Hashim said in a statement on Wednesday that he defected to the ruling party because he is now convinced that President Muhammadu Buhari is passionate about rebuilding Nigeria, despite the criticisms by the opposition.

He described the APC as ‘a reasonable pathway for the preservation of the unity and progress of the nation.’

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He said ‘it was clear after the 2019 elections that going forward we have to make a choice between one of the two major political parties in Nigeria, for a more meaningful struggle for a better Nigeria. The other party does not even care a whim about curbing corruption; its members celebrate their newly adopted legacy of graft and display of criminal opulence. The other party is a far cry from the community of honourable men and women that it was in 1998 when we launched it. In deciding for the APC, I have no illusion that I have come to a perfect party or that the struggle to birth a new Nigeria on this my chosen new platform will be easy. I will continue to rely on your prayers and support, the strength of the Lord and his guidance and protection as I embark on this journey.’

He added that he consulted widely before he decided to dump the PT and added that he will continue his struggle for justice and equity in the APC.

‘In the past six months I have twice met the chairman of the APC National Caretaker committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, and several times with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, This is in addition to meetings with Minister of the FCT, Mallam Mustapha Bello, who is the leader of the APC in the FCT, and also a member of the Federal Cabinet. I have also consulted with party elders, leaders and members too numerous to mention, and especially the FCT party chairman, who worked very hard to convince me to join the APC. I will continue to rely on your prayers and support, the strength of the Lord and his guidance and protection as I embark on this journey. Please permit me to state that in taking this decision my long-standing commitment to the struggle for justice and equity will not waiver, just as my adherence to the principles of true federalism will not wane, and not least will my three-and-a-half-decade struggle for the improvement of the welfare of the downtrodden Nigerians diminish. I remain solid in my pursuit of a new Nigeria, modern, united peaceful and prosperous,’ he said.