Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim: His Politics And Nigeria’s Future

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By; ABDULLAH D. MOHAMED

The Nigerian political space is dominated by all manners of politicians jostling for power and the privileges that are associated with it. From progressives on the left to extremists on the right, from genuine democrats to opportunists, from charlatans to ethnic bigots and from conservatives to the liberals.The political scene has been dynamic. 

Over time, Nigeria’s politics has been reduced to a crude struggle for power rather than the articulation of developmental agenda based on ideology and practical programmes for the development of the nation. 

Ethnic jingoism, religious bigotry, rotation , primordial sentiments and other anti democratic  considerations have come to be the defining factors of Nigerian politics. Under such a dispensation, only very few have  resisted the temptation to cast aside the burden of politics of liberation to join the fray  so as to “make hay while the sun shines.” 

One person of note who has weathered the storm and has continued to navigate the stormy political waters, is undoubtedly, Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, an astute politician whose aspiration is guided by the desire to serve rather than any personal consideration, haven built a successful business empire over the past decades.

He was the  Gubernatorial candidate in  Kwara State  on the platform of the defunct Democratic People’s Party (DPP), the Party I had the opportunity of serving as  it’s longest serving National Secretary.

In.2019, Olawepo-Hashim was the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Trust ( PT) and he was a Presidential aspirant on the Platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) on 2023.

Hashim decided to withdraw his aspiration before the APC convention and together with other chieftains of the party, supported the successful completion of the exercise.

Some may  think Nigeria is nothing but a geographical expression and have  forgotten the history of state formation and peculiarities of history itself. Olawepo-Hashim is a personal, human  and physical reflection of the historical processes  of a nation building. 

Born by a Yoruba mother to a Hausa father of royal background,  married to a wife from the South-South region, it can only be concluded that his background which is bonded by blood ties to the nation, makes him an ideal candidate sooner or later for the Presidency.

Olawepo-Hashim’s political career can be traced back to his days as a Progressive Student Union activist when students were part and parcel of the struggle for enthronement  of democracy and their voice was reckoned with.

He was a student union leader in Lagos and  made huge sacrifices to the student movement, not only in Africa, but the world at large. 

During his days as a student unionist, he and his team never allowed issues of national consideration  to be pushed to the background in favour patronage.

When therefore, he decided to throw his hat in the political arena, he was focused on what his mission was: ‘Service to the People.’ Neither threat to his personal interest nor the fear for the loss of patronage made him deviate from this noble principle. 

He has been in the forefront of the Progressive Politics of the Middle Belt just as he has been associated with the Progressive and radical left,  whose constituency is rooted in the labour unions and the academia. 

So also is he  at home with Democrats of all persuasions. Throughout ,Olawepo-Hashim’s political career to date, he has never been associated with either the opportunism in which principles are thrown overboard for the sake of patronage, nor is he mentioned publicly or privately as having compromised his principles for personal interests. 

Such is the stuff Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim is made of. A lifetime devotion and dedication to public course. Many were those who embodied as well as embraced  the very principles guiding Olawepo’s political career,  but lack his  discipline and  consistency and had  compromised to   become referral points of those whose leadership ambitions were a pretence to their opportunism which were  exposed by time, justifying the saying that,  “with time, each dyed material will revert to its true colours.” 

Olawepo-Hashim’s principles are not  dyed, but rather based on an  inner conviction in the belief that the ultimate aim in life is to positively impact on society  through whatever means one can. 

With a history of progressive politics, a tolerance of divergent views,  a commitment to public service, a life untainted by controversy and a personal background biologically and socially reflecting the national diversity, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim represents a future in which neither North nor South, East or West,  Hausa or Yoruba nor  Igbo would matter  but Nigeria.

He is one person, Nigerians would afford not to miss on the seat of power. 

Abdullah D. Mohamed, a 

Former Nat Sec (DPP) , is the CEO Salasadiscourse Pol. Consult Abuja

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