Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, a former presidential aspirant under the APC, has congratulated President Bola Tinubu on the Supreme Court verdict, advising him to now face the job of rescuing Nigerians from the harsh daily realities they faced. Olawepo-Hashim, who is also an activist and a businessman, disclosed this in his congratulatory message to Tinubu in Lagos on Sunday.
Recall that both the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), had implored the Supreme Court to dismiss and set aside the September 6 judgment of PEPT, which affirmed Tinubu’s victory.
However, on Thursday, the seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro held that the appeal lacked merit and “is hereby dismissed.”
Olawepo-Hashim noted that hitting the ground running presently would not be sufficient, as he now needed to fly when needed. He explained that President Tinubu, as the one with the democratic mandate, had a lot of work to do with an economy that was hit by the worst inflation in over 20 years.
He said the country’s currency had lost 80 percent of its value in four months of Tinubu’s administration at the unofficial market.
“Although 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 the October 26.
“I want to congratulate President Tinubu for a hard won victory.
“I also extend my commendation to Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP, and Mr. Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, respectively, at the 2023 presidential election.
“The dogged but civil challenges mounted by the duo after the election are important contributions to our democracy and will 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.
“They must secure the nation, rescue the economy, and improve the welfare of our people,” he said.
The businessman also recalled that before and after the election, they had counseled severally that the post-Buhari administration must be an administration of national unity. He added that this was similar to retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s post-civil war cabinet, owing to the severe fracture of the polity and the terrible damage to the economy.
Olawepo-Hashim stated that some people, in their own opinion, had dismissed the suggestion after the election, arguing instead that what the nation needed was a government of “national competence”.
He stated that the country was now impatiently waiting to see the “competence” reflected in the welfare of the people.
The businessman stressed that at this crucial juncture in the history of the nation, “important national responsibilities cannot be a gift for yes boys and girls at moments of severe national crises.”
He also advised that the opposition party, which divided its ranks into three and a half during the build-up to the 2023 election, had a job to do if it was to remain relevant to the nation’s immediate political future.
Olawepo-Hashim reiterated that the nation demanded more seriousness from all the political leaders, as the gloomy realities that Nigerians faced daily were not the occasion for pettiness.