A leader in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has congratulated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on last Thursday’s Supreme Court verdict, which validated his victory in the 25th February presidential election, while also urging him to now face the job of “rescuing Nigerians from the daily grim realities they face, with more seriousness”.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in that election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; and his Labour Party counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi had urged the apex court to dismiss and set aside the 6th September judgement of Presidential Election Petitions Court, which affirmed President Tinubu’s victory.
But the seven-man panel led by Justice John Okoro, on Thursday, held that the appeal lacked merit and “is hereby dismissed”.
In a press release in Abuja on Sunday, Olawepo-Hashim explained that “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 per cent in four months of his administration at the unofficial market”.
He added that “hitting the ground running now would not be enough as he now needs to fly when needed”.
He stated that 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 26th of October 2023. I want to congratulate President Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) for a hard won victory”.
He also extended his commendation to Atiku and Obi. According to him, “the dogged but civil challenges mounted by the duo 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”.
He also recalled that “before and after election, we had counselled severally that the post-(Muhammadu) Buhari administration must be a Government of National Unity akin to the post civil war cabinet of General (Yakubu) Gowon, owing to the severe fracture of the polity and the horrendous damage to the economy”.
According to him, “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 emphasised 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”.
He 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”.
Olawepo-Hashim maintained that “Nigeria demands more seriousness from all political leaders as the grim realities that Nigerians confront daily is not the occasion for pettiness and shodiness”.