A frontline Presidential aspirant and key financier of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has withdrawn from the presidential race.
This, according to him, was on grounds of breach of party’s constitutional procedure in the build-up to it presidential primaries scheduled for Saturday, September 29 (tomorrow).
“I regret to inform you that I will not participate in tomorrow’s primaries until the constitution of the party is respected and all the defects are rectified,” Olawepo-Hashi said in a letter addressed to the party chairman, Emmanuel Dania.
Olawepo-Hashim, hitherto the favoured aspirant to clinch the party’s presidential candidacy slot, explained that it is regrettable that the abnormalities he mentioned to the chairman at their Wednesday meetings have not been corrected, in what he alleges amounts to a disrespect for the constitution of the party.
Dated September 28, the aspirant who has toured a substantial part of the country campaigning for delegates’ support, noted that “The list of delegates has not been provided to me as a Presidential Aspirant on the platform of the ANN. This is contrary to the constitution of the ANN and the Electoral Act. This is such a fundamental flaw as to render any exercise purporting to be presidential primaries to be nugatory”.
Easily regarded as the most cerebral of the ANN presidential hopeful, Olawepo-Hashim said it is unfortunate that even on the eve of the so-called primaries, guidelines for the primaries, which ought to have been approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and issued at least 7 days before the elections, are not available.
“The absence of guidelines to guide the conduct of the primaries constitute a grave violation of our party’s Constitution and the Electoral Act”, he said.
The eloquent aspirant went further: “The arrangements for the Presidential Primaries have not been published so that everyone will know. I don’t know those to conduct the primaries, including accreditation of delegates and screening of aspirants, among others. ”
He added: “As a Presidential Aspirant, I am yet to know the arrangements put in place for the conduct of the primaries
Because of these alleged imperfections, the politician stated matter-of-factly”.