By Clifford Ndujihe
BUSINESSMAN-cum-politician, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo, has urged Nigerians to avoid those who are part of the nation’s rot while voting in the 2023 general election.
The former presidential candidate, who is aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, next year on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, said avoiding such politicians is the first step towards rescuing the country.
According to him, Nigerians cannot afford to choose the next President from among those who have made a career of living in government since 1999, and expect positive changes in their lives and in the country.
In a chat with Journalists in Lagos, Olawepo-Hashim said: “The truth is that some of those who have stayed too long in the status quo have become part of the corrupt system, and it is an illusion to expect corruption to fight corruption.”
He argued that a corrupt individual/system cannot fight corruption, and so the nation needs a clean break from its ugly past to break the shackles of rot in order to move forward.
He said: “Either in the APC or PDP or any other party, those whose only job has been to change from one government office to another and have never done any other productive thing apart from squandering government money, driving convoys of cars around that they do not fuel themselves, escorted by security paid for by Government, are far removed from the true realities of Nigeria, and are therefore incapable of comprehending the urgency and depth of transformation Nigeria needs.
“I laugh when I read about someone who has never set up even a barber shop in his or her life promising young people employment. These are people who do not even understand how businesses run.
“The solution to national security challenges, the unemployment problem, high cost of petroleum products and basic items requires new approach to handle, which those who have never paid for anything they consume in the past 23 years cannot understand.”
The presidential aspirant, who said he would declare his ambition before the end of this month, disclosed that one of the things that attracted him to the APC was President Buhari’s belief that corruption must be crushed in Nigeria.
Sadly, however, he lamented that corruption has become one of the major reasons for the slow progress, and the underbelly of some of the nation’s security problems such as banditry and kidnappings.
“Nigeria loses a lot to corruption. According to Price Water Cooper (PWC), a global Consulting outfit, if not arrested by 2030, corruption will be costing Nigeria 37 per cent of her GDP; i.e. $200 billion, a whooping N100 trillion, about 15 times our national budget.
“This will translate to $1,000 per capital; N500,000 by each Nigerian. The significance of this on our lives, in terms of avoidable death, is staggering,” he cautioned.
Ahead of the 2023 presidential poll, Olawepo-Hashim promised to release to Nigerians his perspectives on important matters they want answers to such as security, jobs, availability and affordability of petroleum products, stable electricity supply, how to tackle corruption, health, education, infrastructure, and uniting Nigerians among others.