2019: I’m Still In The Presidential Race – Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim

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Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim
Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim
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…As ANN NEC Postpones Primaries To Oct 3, Declares Today’s Primaries Null And Void

A frontline Presidential aspirant on the platform of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, said he has not pulled from the presidential race.

Olawepo-Hashim, who said this at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday, added that “I and my leaders would not abandon the structure of the party for the disparate elements working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“I am in the race. I have only pulled out of the hurried convention of the ANN fixed for today, Saturday, purportedly to elect the presidential candidate. I am still in the race for 2019 by the special grace of God.

“We have about 19 states who are not part of the kangaroo convention. ANN intends to have a clean primary on Wednesday.”

He opined that “APC has no commitment to the values of Democracy. We will not yield ANN to the forces of dictatorship and oppression who wants to cling to power by all means and at all cost.

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The members at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday emphasised that the guidelines for the National Convention of the party must first be ratified by the NEC before the convention could hold.

Consequent upon this, the NEC members postponed the Presidential primaries of the party to Wednesday next week (October 3rd).

They, however, added that a meeting of NEC to ratify the guidelines would hold Saturday night.

A factional National chairman of the party, Dania Emmanuel had earlier fixed a convention for Saturday (today) in Abuja, an arrangement which the NEC members said was against the party’s constitution.

Recall that Olawepo-Hashim had earlier told the party leadership in a letter that he would not participate in the party’s Presidential primary election, scheduled to hold today, September 29, until the constitution of the party is respected and all the defects are rectified.

The Deputy National Chairman of the party, Isa Tijani, in his remarks, said “We are here to make Democracy work, and also to strengthen it. It is not about individuality but collectivism. We are fostering the requirement of the party’s c, the constitution as Democrats.”

Tijani noted that 19 out of the 27 states where the party is constituted were present at the press conference, adding they “if anything is happening elsewhere, it is null and void. Nobody can blackmail us. This is a party of difference. We mean what we say and say what we mean.

Kogi State Chairman, Hon Apeh Sunday, who spoke on behalf of the nineteen state Chairmen and the NEC members, said: “We the chairmen believe in following the constitution of the party. Because the guidelines for the convention were yet to be ratified, while logistics issues were also not sorted out we have resolved to hold an NEC meeting late this evening to ratify the guideline and also fix the convention for Wednesday, October 3.”

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Some of the issues said to have necessitated the postponement of the Presidential Primaries include the adoption of a credible list of delegates to be authenticated by chairmen and secretaries of each state, and the decision on the states who have held congresses and who are still omitted in the list of delegates, such as Kano, Katsina among others.

The others are a decision on the status of women and youths of states who were excluded in the delegates’ lists, and the decision of the states that have not yet conducted their congresses, but are legally constituted, such as Abia, Adamawa and Gombe, among other.

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