Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 23 February 2019 | 1,022 times
Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Trust (PT), Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, said on Saturday that candidates at the presidential election should swallow their anger and accept to congratulate the eventual winner.
Olawepo Hashim, who voted in Abuja at 12:30 p.m., spoke to reporters shortly after casting his vote at Unit 012, Lagos Road Junction, 2-1 Kubwa, Abuja.
He said that whatever the outcome, contestants who lose the polls should agree to congratulate the winner, adding that the winner should be very responsible and magnanimous in victory.
His words: “Nigeria needs to move out election siege that it has gotten itself into which has some implications for the sake of the economy, peace, unity and stability.
“I want to see some matured statements from political leaders. The politics of the country seems seriously broken and we have to pick that together because basically in this election we are supposed to be a vehicle to improve governance not to lower the quality of governance. Otherwise it would have lost its meaning.
“I think the security people have done their job professionally. The political leaders should accept the responsibility of their failures and of their lack of maturity and they are the ones pitting all these various institutions under pressure who otherwise would have been professionals.
“Our soldiers perform very well when they go peace keeping mission anywhere in the world, but when they come back it's different. What we have seen is the desperation of political leaders, particularly the two major parties, they have almost brought this country to its knees. From statements we hear to accusations, there are certain things when you say you lead a country you must not do.
“There are issues about the general climate of electioneering in the country, the behaviors of political leaders which have impacted the way the institutions that are managing the election are operating. And then the general political environment which I believe would have been better if we had a cooling off period after the first postponement.
“With the evidence before your eyes, I believe that for election to have meaning, it must be a process of peaceful transfer of power, whose outcome is largely susceptible to the participants. Once you don’t have a great deal of that, there’s a basis to question the legitimacy of such a process which is not beneficial to peace and stability any country.”
Speaking further, Olawepo-Hashim said: “I assumed that we needed some cooling off period after the first postponement, the tension was high, there were various issues about foreign interferences backing one candidate against the other candidate and other salient issues.”
He accused major parties of vote-buying, using state resources, saying: “Like I believe, the major parties did a lot of vote buying in this exercise which were done through state resources but be that as it may, whatever is the outcome of this process, the winner should congratulate the loser.”
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