A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress and former presidential candidate of Peoples Trust in the 2019 election, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, on Sunday, warned politicians against further widening the existing gulf and divisions in the country ahead of the 2023 elections.
He warned that “the nation cannot afford to crash this democratic process on the altar of narrow self-interest by politicians who are merely on a mission of personal ambition and self-aggrandizement.”
According to him, in the quest for power by the candidates, rather than addressing issues that are critical to nationhood, the actors, especially the presidential candidates, have been inflaming the passion of tribal and religious anger among the people.
“The point is that there is danger ahead if this monster is not tamed.
“Our democracy faces the danger of being trapped by a self-inflicted convulsion which may damage the current fragile ethno-religious situation in the country,” he added.
The supporters of the candidates, he added, are also driving their campaigns and marketing of their candidates via intimidation, threat, disinformation and blackmail, without any word of caution from their principals.
Olawepo-Hashim made his position known in a statement titled: “Don’t Divide Nigeria Over 2023.”
He said, “Even before independence, Nigeria had a rich history of politics and political campaigns, which gave the electorates big opportunity to interrogate the candidates and party programmes before making informed choices and decisions.
“Campaigns were built around issues which had been properly elucidated in the party’s manifestoes. Parties were also held accountable for their programmes and the candidates toed the line of the parties in their conducts and utterances.”